Tajikistan hit with 7.2-magnitude quake, at least one dead

Dushanbe (Tajikistan) (AFP) –


A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Tajikistan on Monday, US experts said, and state television said one person was killed ten were injured.

The tremor hit at 7:50 GMT in the Central Asian country, some 109 kilometres (67 miles) west of the town of Murghob at a depth of 28 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

The driver of a truck travelling along a road some 460 kilometres east of the capital Dushanbe died as the result of a landslide triggered by the quake, state television said.

The earthquake was located some 345 kilometres east of Dushanbe in mountainous terrain, according to the US Geological Survey.

The Tajik seismological service noted that the quake's epicentre was just 22 kilometres from the high altitude Lake Sarez.

Sarez, formed following an earthquake in 1911 and containing some 17 cubic kilometres of water, is considered a major threat to the region if its dams break as a result of seismic activity.

Shakarbek, a 50-year-old resident of the region's biggest city, Khorog, told AFP that the quake jolted residents but there was "no major panic and no visible damage."

The quake was also felt in the capital of neighbouring Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty to the north, as well as northern parts of Afghanistan to the south, Pakistan and India.

"I felt the windows moving and that only happens when there's an earthquake. The room was swinging," said Sara Seerat, a lawyer in Pakistan's capital Islamabad, where workers voluntarily evacuated office buildings.

Indian television showed residents in Delhi and Srinagar rushing into the streets, although no damage was reported.