Kabul/Islamabad/New Delhi: At least 12 schoolgirls died in a stampede at their school in Afghanistan's Takhar province when they tried to run out as a major quake struck on Monday, the media reported.
The panic-stricken girls were killed while trying to flee the school building, the Independent reported.
An #earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale jolted Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India, killing at least 60 and injuring over 400 in Pakistan. The epicentre of the temblor was 45 km south-southwest of Jarm city in Afghanistan, around 240 km from here.
The Pakistan Army has been put on alert.
The quake was felt in most of the northern parts of Pakistan including such major cities as Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Sargodha, Quetta and Multan, officials said.
At least 18 people were killed in Peshawar city, according to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa's Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani, reported Dawn, while over 100 injured admitted to the city's Lady Reading Hospital.
Elsewhere in Khyber-Pakhtunkwa, three people were killed in Mansehra, two in Charsadda, and 13 people were killed in Chitral, which fell closest to the quake's epicentre. Eight people, including four children, were killed in the Bajaur tribal region near the Afghanistan border after buildings collapsed in the area, it said.
Eight people were killed in Swat Valley, while nearly 200 injured were brought to Swat's Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital.
In Punjab, a child was killed in Kallar Kahar area of Chakwal district and one in Rawalpindi's Raja Bazar area, one woman was killed in Sargodha and 10 others injured in a wall collapse and one in Kasur district when a house roof collapsed.
One death was reported from Mirpur in Pakistani Kashmir and three in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Dunya News TV reported that a part of Bala Hissar fort in Peshawar had been damaged.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khatak declared an emergency in all hospitals, an official statement said.
Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa said troops had been directed "to carry out immediate rescue work in any affected areas without waiting for formal orders".
Army teams had been sent out for a quick assessment of earthquake damages across the country, he said in a series of tweets.
The official added that all command military hospitals had been put on high alert, and helicopters and earthquake rescue machinery were on standby.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed all federal, civil, military and provincial agencies to declare an immediate alert and mobilise all resources to ensure the security of citizens of Pakistan. All agencies have been directed to move out with their resources.
President Mamnoon Hussain has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the natural calamity.
The massive earthquake has caused huge damage to property across Jammu and Kashmir while there were no reports of casualties so far.
Cracks appeared in most multi-storeyed public and private buildings and a flyover here, while there were reports of major damage to dozens of government and private buildings in Badgam, Anantnag, Baramulla, Pulwama, Kulgam, Kupwara, Bandipora and Ganderbal districts.
People in the entire Valley abandoned offices, business places and homes and ran out into the open in order to avoid being caught in building collapses. Traffic came to abrupt halt in the Valley as vehicles started swinging on shaking roads during the tremor.
Even an hour after the quake occurred at 2.40 p.m., people did not ent er buildings fearing aftershocks.
"We are collecting information on loss of life and damaged to public and private property from across the Valley.
"Reports about damages to public and property are tentative, but given the magnitude of the earthquake, we are keeping fingers crossed," said a senior officer of the provincial administration here.
The earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter Scale struck Jammu and Kashmir Monday with epicenter in the Hindukush mountain region of Afghanistan.