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Earthquake Shakes Three Countries

February 25, 2001

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ A strong earthquake shook Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India on Sunday. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Estimates of the quake’s magnitude ranged from 5.8 to 6.5. The shaking sent panicked residents rushing from their homes in Kabul, the Afghan capital, and in northern India. It rattled windows in Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad, about 480 miles south of the epicenter near Faisabad, Afghanistan.

The quake struck at about 6:52 a.m. local time, officials said. Pakistan’s meteorological office estimated the quake at 5.8 magnitude, while Indian officials said it was 6.5.

The U.S. Geological Survey, which monitors quakes worldwide, put the magnitude at 6.1 and said it was centered about 50 miles south-southeast of Faisabad.

The quake was fairly deep, about 108 to 120 miles, said Bill Smith, a geophysicist with the Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.

The tremor comes just one month after a powerful quake shattered parts of India’s western state of Gujarat.

Pakistani officials in northwestern Peshawar said they had reports that tremors were felt throughout most parts of northern Pakistan.

The earthquake also shook northern Afghanistan’s Badakhashan and Takhar provinces, ruled by troops opposing Afghanistan’s governing Taliban militia.

``Everything was shaking. We felt two shocks. Everyone ran from their homes, but we have not heard of any injuries,″ said Mohammed Abil, an opposition spokesman contacted in Takhar.

On May 30, 1998, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 killed more than 5,000 people in northern Afghanistan.

A magnitude 7.7 temblor devastated large parts of India’s western Gujarat state on Jan. 26 and killed more than 19,000 people. The epicenter of that earthquake was 750 miles southwest of the Indian capital of New Delhi.

Sunday’s quake was not felt in that area, Indian officials said.

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