TAJIKISTAN: An earthquake of magnitude 7.2 struck eastern Tajikistan on Thursday. The earthquake occurred at nearly 5.37 a.m. local time at a depth of approximately 20.5 kilometers.
According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, the earthquake was 7.2 in magnitude, with its epicentre about 82 km from the closest border with China. It was impacted strongly in a few areas in China’s Xinjiang region, which is situated in the western region, including Kashgar and Artux. The initial seismic measurements, however, were conducted by different agencies, including the USGS.
The epicentre of the earthquake seemed to be located in Gorno-Badakhshan, a half-autonomous area that shares boundaries with Afghanistan and China. It is nearly 67 kilometres from the small town of Murghob after the initial quake occurred in the area that experienced a 5.0 magnitude aftershock approximately 20 minutes later following a 4.6 magnitude earthquake.
The area that was affected by the earthquake has a sparse population and is surrounded by the Pamir Mountains and Lake Sarez, one of the largest lakes in Tajikistan. Behind the lake is a natural dam that the experts have warned might fail and lead to a catastrophe.
The power supply as well as communication remained stable in Kashgar. The Xinjiang Railroad Department halted passenger trains from Aksu to Kashgar on the Southern Xinjiang Railway.The local authorities were inspecting bridges, tunnels, and signal equipment.
Like a lot of areas of Central Asia, Tajikistan is prone to natural disasters. Earlier in February, an avalanche killed nine people in the Gorno-Badakhshan region.