SRINAGAR, India (AP) - A moderate 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit
the Himalayan region of Kashmir on Friday, sending frightened
residents running from their homes, but there were no immediate
reports of deaths, officials said.
The Indian Meteorological Department said the temblor struck at
9:18 a.m. on Friday near Baramullah, a town near the de-facto
border that divides Indian and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.
Officials in the Himalayan region said the quake caused panic
but no major damage. In 2005, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit the
area, killing at least 78,000 people.
"We have been collecting reports from the area. There is no
report of death or major damage so far," said Amir Ali, an
official with the local disaster management committee on the Indian
Mohammed Yussef, a police officer in Baramullah, said some
houses that suffered cracks in 2005 quake were further damaged.
"The people all ran out into the streets. There is lots of
panic," he said.
While there were no reports of casualties in the town, officials
have not yet been able to make contact with more remote areas, he
The quake was felt in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and
Pakistan's eastern Punjab province, said Fakhar Alam Khan, an
official with the Pakistani meteorological office. There were no
immediate reports of casualties or damage in Pakistan, he said,
calling on people not to panic.
Pakistani regions bore the brunt of the 2005 quake.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, who have fought
two of their three wars over the region. Both claim it in its