Magnitude 7.2 earthquake strikes Tajikistan, near border with China

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BEIJING: An earthquake of about 7.2 magnitude shook Tajikistan at 8:37am (0037 GMT) on Thursday at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), Chinese state television CCTV reported, citing the China Earthquake Networks Center.

The epicentre is about 82 km from the nearest border with China and was strongly felt in some areas in China’s western Xinjiang region, including Kashgar and Artux.

There were no reports of casualties. Power supply and communication remained normal in Kashgar, state media Xinhua reported.

The Xinjiang railroad department called a halt to passenger trains running on the Aksu to Kashgar section of the Southern Xinjiang railway, state media said.

Local authorities were inspecting bridges, tunnels and signal equipment, CCTV said.

It should be noted that on February 6, an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude rattled central Turkey and northwest Syria, killing more than 47,000 and injuring thousands across the quake zone so far.

The quake also damaged or destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes.

Six people had also been killed in the latest earthquake, just two weeks after a larger one that struck the border region of Turkey and Syria, authorities reported on February 21.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) had said there had been 90 aftershocks. Six thousand tents were sent to the area overnight for residents alarmed by the new quake.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 294 people had been injured, with 18 seriously hurt and transported to hospitals in Adana and Dortyol.

Patients were evacuated from some health facilities that had remained in operation after the massive tremors two weeks ago, as cracks had emerged in the buildings, Koca said on Twitter.

In Samandag, where AFAD had reported one person dead on Monday, residents said more buildings had collapsed, but that most of the town had already fled after the initial earthquakes. Mounds of debris and discarded furniture lined the dark, abandoned streets.

President Tayyip Erdogan had said that the construction work on nearly 200,000 apartments in 11 provinces of Turkey would begin next month.

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