Massive earthquake shakes Central Asia

ALMATY/ Jan. 22 (The Bulletin) — A “once in a generation” magnitude 7 earthquake on the China-Kyrgyzstan border shook Almaty, 260km away.

Eyewitnesses said that the earthquake lasted around 1 minute and terrified residents who fled from high-rise buildings.

“There was no damage to buildings but people were really scared and spent the night outside their apartments,” said an Almaty resident. Only seven people were reportedly injured in the earthquake in Almaty, although a handful of deaths were reported near the epicentre.

Traffic jams formed through Almaty as people tried to flee the city and there were reports of panic-buying of petrol.

In Bishkek, the reverberations were less severe but people living there also described being terrified.

According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake measured 7 on the Richter scale and was at a depth of 13km below the Earth’s surface, relatively shallow.

It also said that in the past 100 years, there have only been three other earthquakes of a similar magnitude that had occurred within a 250km radius of Tuesday’s earthquake.

People living in Central Asia fear a major earthquake will wipe out a large city. In 1966, an earthquake destroyed Tashkent, killing 200 people.


Copyright — Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2024

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