|Wednesday, 12 March 2003|
Dozen of houses demolished as quake jolts northern Pakistan
An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale jolted the Astore valley in northern Pakistan Monday, causing property losses but no casualties, officials said.
The epicentre was located 520 kilometres (320 miles) north of the capital Islamabad.
The quake devastated at least a dozen houses in Asotre, officials said adding that several houses were also damaged in the nearby villages of Mushkin, Dashkin, Harcho, Doya and Turballing.
Astore and adjoining areas were hit by an earthquake of 5.5 magnitude in November last year that claimed 23 lives and left some 10,000 people homeless.
Aftershocks continuing for several days triggered landslides that blocked the strategic Karakoram Highway linking Pakistan with China along the ancient Silk Road. That highway remained blocked to all traffic for weeks.
Tremors and landslides are common in the spectacular Karakoram range, where the Indian and Eurasian continental plates collide.
The most devastating seismic event in recent times hit in 1974, when a quake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale killed 5,300 people close to the town of Patan.
Produced by Lake House