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South Asia Quake Among This Year's Strongest


The earthquake that struck the Indian subcontinent Saturday was centered in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, near the Indian border, about 95 kilometers northeast of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

The magnitude 7.6 quake occurred at 3:50 UTC (8:50 a.m. local time) and was 10 kilometers deep. An earthquake of this magnitude is capable of causing widespread, heavy damage.

This is the strongest earthquake to hit the region since 1935, and the fourth strongest to occur in the world this year.

Thousands have been killed in India and Pakistan and possibly Afghanistan; however, casualty reports are still coming in, so the figures are only rough estimates.

The 10 strongest earthquakes in the world this year, including Saturday's are:

1. March 28, Sumatra, Indonesia: Magnitude 8.7, 1313 people killed.

2. June 13, Tarabaca, Chile: Magnitude 7.8, 11 people killed.

3. September 9, Papua New Guinea: Magnitude 7.7, no casualty reports.

4. October 8, Pakistan-controlled Kashmir: Magnitude 7.6, casualty reports still coming in.

5. September 26, Northern Peru: Magnitude 7.5, five people killed.

6. July 24, Nicobar Islands, India: Magnitude 7.3, no casualty reports.

7. June 15, Pacific Ocean off California coast: Magnitude 7.2, no casualty reports.

8. August 16, Pacific Ocean off the coast of Honshu, Japan: Magnitude 7.2, no casualty reports.

9. February 5, Celebes Sea: Magnitude 7.1, one death.

10. March 2, Banda Sea: Magnitude 7.1, no casualty reports.

Other serious quakes this year occurred on February 22 in Central Iran (Magnitude 6.4, 612 people killed); and March 20, in Kyushu, Japan (Magnitude 6.6, one person killed.)