Tuesday February 19, 2019
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Quake jolts north India, over 100 killed in Pakistan

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New Delhi: An earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter Scale and with its epicentre in Afghanistan shook large parts of north India, causing widespread panic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately offered help to Afghanistan and Pakistan where over 100 people were reportedly killed.

According to The Express Tribune, the death toll in Pakistan has risen to 110

Hundreds of thousands of people fled out of their houses and offices in Delhi and adjoining areas as well as in parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. There were no reports of casualties but there was major damage to property in Kashmir.

The tremors, around 2.40 p.m., were distinctly felt for 30-40 seconds, shaking high-rise buildings all across north India. The epicentre of the quake lay in Jarm in Afghanistan, 256 km northeast of Kabul.

Most multi-storey public and private buildings in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, suffered huge cracks. Dozens of houses and school buildings collapsed in southern and central parts of the Kashmir Valley, officials and residents said.

Traffic came to an abrupt halt as vehicles started swinging on shaking roads in the valley. A traffic flyover in Srinagar developed cracks.

Prime Minister Modi said India was ready to provide help to Kabul and Islamabad.

“Heard about strong earthquake in Afghanistan-Pakistan region whose tremors have been felt in parts of India. I pray for everyone’s safety,” he tweeted.

“I have asked for an urgent assessment, and we stand ready for assistance where required, including Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked people not to panic and said disaster management teams had been activated.

Among the first to tweet in the Modi government was Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who said as if someone with a firm hand was moving her chair.

“Massive, massive… praying,” is how Delhi’s Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra reacted.

As the tremors began, Delhi Metro immediately halted its services all across the capital and in the neighbouring regions of Gurgaon in Haryana and Noida in Uttar Pradesh. Jaipur Metro too followed suit.

A Delhi Metro spokesman told IANS that the services were resumed after officials did a quick check for possible damage to infrastructure and rail tracks.

The worst hit were Afghanistan and Pakistan. There were no immediate reports of casualties from Afghanistan but Pakistani officials said around 13 people had been killed in different parts of the country.

India’s ambassador in Kabul, Amar Singh, told IANS over telephone that he had no report of any casualty or damage to property among Indians.

Afghanistan soon felt a major aftershock — measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale.

The quake was felt in most of the northern parts of Pakistan including major cities like Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Sargodha and Kohat, Dawn and other Pakistani media quoted officials as saying.

Four people were killed in the Bajaur tribal region near the Afghanistan border after buildings collapsed in the area.

A child was killed in Kallar Kahar in Chakwal district and six people were killed in Swat Valley. One woman died in Sargodha in Punjab when a wall collapsed, also injuring 10 people. A man was killed in Kasur district.

At least 200 people were admitted to a hospital in Swat and another 100 in a Peshawar hospital, officials said.

Dunya News said a part of Bala Hissar fort in Peshawar had been damaged.

Pakistan puts its army on alert, and directed it to carry out immediate rescue work in affected areas without waiting for formal orders.

Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa tweeted that army teams had been sent out for a quick assessment of earthquake damages across the country.

All command military hospitals were placed on high alert.

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Cases of Swine Flu Crosses 1,000-Mark in Delhi

The advisory also said that children with mild illness but with predisposing risk factors, pregnant women, persons aged 65 years or older, patients with lung diseases, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease etc.

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Swine Flu

As many as 1,011 cases of swine flu (H1N1) were reported from various hospitals in the national capital till Sunday, according to a data released by the government on Monday.

Although the government data does not report any deaths due to H1N1, some city hospitals claim that 11 persons died last month due to the infection.

In entire 2018, only 205 H1N1 cases and two deaths were reported.

Till January 29, the number of cases were 512.

The Delhi government has directed all its hospitals to make local purchases of logistics required to ensure a continuous supply of medicine, vaccine and kits.

Representational image.

“All government hospitals are equipped with the necessary logistics required for the management of Seasonal Influenza A (H1N1),” the government said in a statement.

A health advisory has also been issued in both Hindi and English by the Delhi’s Directorate General of Health Services, it said.

According to the advisory, Seasonal Influenza (H1N1) is a self-limiting air-borne viral, and the disease spreads from person to person through coughing and sneezing, indirect contact by touching a contaminated object or surface, and close contact including handshakes, hugging and kissing.

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“The symptoms include fever and cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and difficulty in breathing. Other symptoms may include body-ache, headache, fatigue, chills, diarrhea and vomiting, and blood-stained sputum,” it said.

The advisory also said that children with mild illness but with predisposing risk factors, pregnant women, persons aged 65 years or older, patients with lung diseases, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, blood disorders, diabetes, neurological disorders, cancer and HIV/AIDS, patients on long-term cortisone therapy are under the high-risk group. (IANS)