Strong quake in central Asia kills 13, injures dozens

July 20th, 2011 - 11:08 pm ICT by BNO News  

BISHKEK (BNO NEWS) — At least 13 people were killed and dozens more were injured when a strong earthquake struck the southwest Kyrgyzstan and eastern Uzbekistan border area on early Wednesday morning, officials said.

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake at 1.35 a.m. local time (1935 GMT Tuesday) was centered about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) east of Okhna, a village in Batken Province of Kyrgyzstan near the border with Uzbekistan. It struck about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the Kazakhstan National Data Center (KNDC).

The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which measured the strength of the earthquake at 6.1 on the Richter scale, estimated that some 50,000 people may have felt ‘very strong’ shaking, which could result in moderate to heavy damage. It said some 7.6 million others may have felt moderate to strong shaking.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from Kyrgyzstan, where the Emergency Situations Ministry for Kadamzhav District said there was only some minor damage to buildings. “Civil protection commissions are inspecting every house. We created a special headquarters under the district administration where citizens can report about damages. We haven’t received information about injured people,” an official at the ministry told the 24 news agency.

But the Emergency Ministry of Uzbekistan reported serious damage on the Uzbek side of the border. It said buildings were damaged in Rishtan, Bagdad and Uzbekistan districts of Ferghana region, killing at least 13 people and injured 86 others. Thirty-five of those injured were hospitalized.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the victims and ordered the government to take immediate steps to help those affected by the earthquake.

On October 6, 2008, a strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck near the Kyrgyzstan village of Nura, killing at least 74 people and injuring 140 others. It was the country’s deadliest earthquake in modern history.

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