Officials said there were no loss of life or property reported from any part of both Punjab and Haryana. Most people were fast asleep when tremors, with epicentre in Afghanistan, had shaken Delhi and parts of North India at around 0044 hours.

"I was in deep sleep when my wife suddenly shouted asking me to wake up. Realising that it was an earthquake, we rushed down with a light quilt wrapped around us," said Ajay Kumar, a senior executive with a MNC, living in a third floor flat here. A family, at Zirakpur town in Punjab on the outskirts of Chandigarh, living on sixth floor of an apartment said they were jolted out of their sleep by the quake.

"Our children started crying while our old parents were gripped by panic as the tremors appeared strong. We took the stairs and came out in the open, like several others in the area," said Dheeraj Mehta.

Reports of people rushing out of their homes in panic were also received from many other places including Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Phagwara and Amritsar in Punjab and Ambala, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Hisar and Rohtak in Haryana.

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