"A moderate intensity earthquake occurred at 3.40 am today," an official of the local Met Department here said.

"The magnitude of the earthquake was 5.5 on the Richter scale. The epicentre of the earthquake was in Hindukush mountain range of Afghanistan," the official said.

The tremors were felt when Muslims had just finished their pre-dawn meal to begin the day's fast on the 12th day of the holy month of Ramadan.

More than 40,000 people had perished in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the two sides of divided Kashmir that occurred on October 8, 2005.

Geologists believe Kashmir is situated on a highly quake vulnerable fault line. Devastating earthquakes have hit Kashmir in the past as well, but not all were properly documented.

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