Major earthquake strikes southwestern Pakistan

by
January 19, 2011

(CNN) — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 struck Wednesday morning in a remote area of southwestern Pakistan, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The earthquake occurred at 1:23 a.m. (3:23 p.m. Tuesday ET) at a depth of 84 kilometers (52 miles). It was centered 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Dalbandin; 255 kilometers (158 miles) west of Kalat; 310 kilometers (192 miles) east-southeast of Zahedan, Iran; and 1,020 kilometers (633 miles) west-southwest of Islamabad, Pakistan, the USGS said on its website.

USGS initially reported the quake at 7.4. Quakes of 7.0 to 7.9 are classified as major; anything over 8.0 is classified as great.

In Dubai, a reporter said he felt a moderate shaking that lasted for about 30 seconds.

Usman Zahid, a night manager at Serina Hotel in Quetta, Pakistan, felt the quake. He said it was “frightening” and estimated that it lasted about 20 seconds. It caused “broken glass in the kitchen” and caused the chandelier to swing, but caused no major damage, he said.

Twitter accounts in New Delhi, Jaipur and Dehradun — all in India — felt the quake. Twitter accounts in Bahrain said they felt the quake.

In Dubai, “I was just getting ready to go to bed,” said Leone Lakhani in Dubai. She said she texted her friends in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

“It’s not uncommon for this region to have earthquakes,” said Kurt Frankel of the Georgia Institute of Technology. It is where two tectonic plates come together, he said.

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