A moderate-intensity earthquake, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, struck the Hindu Kush mountain range in Afghanistan on Sunday afternoon, leaving Delhi and other parts of north India shaken.
People rushed out of their houses in the National Capital Region, Kashmir and Uttarakhand as the quake struck at 3.58 pm. Its epicentre was across a 200 km on the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border in the Hindu Kush region, according to the data from the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre as well as the US Geological Survey.
In Delhi, the tremors were felt for at least five minutes.
''The earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale at a depth of 190 km hit Hindukush mountain region at 3:58 pm,'' said J L Gautam, the operations head of the National Centre for Seismology. This was a deep earthquake which travelled very far, a reason why tremors were felt so strongly in Delhi, which is about 1,200 km away.
The fire department and the police said that their control rooms did not receive any calls reporting damage or collapse of any buildings.
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who was at the secretariat when the tremors were felt, tweeted, "earthquake!!! It was really scary! I could see plants and furniture shaking at 6th floor office of Delhi secretariat. Wish all is well.''
Services of the Delhi Metro were halted for a few minutes following the quake.
''Train services resumed after two-three minutes with cautionary speed of less than 40 km per hour till the next station. No damage was reported from anywhere so far,'' said a statement from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
The tremors, however, struck panic among city dwellers, with some stating that they saw their building ''shake like a pendulum''.
''My parents, who live on the 11th floor of an apartment in Ghaziabad, said they felt strong tremors. They said that the building was shaking like a pendulum and many residents ran downstairs in fear. Most people waited outside for 10 minutes before returning home,'' said Sweta Maheshwari.