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Purbu Zhaxi/AP

Earthquake Claims 72 in Kyrgyzstan

October 06, 2008 11:05 AM
by Isabel Cowles
An earthquake with a 6.6 magnitude hit Kyrgyzstan near its border with Tajikstan, killing 72 and destroying scores of homes in the mountainous region.
An earthquake that struck the mountains near the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has killed 72 people and injured at least 100 more.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that the quake’s magnitude was 6.6. The small village of Nura was hardest hit: Emergency Situations Minister Kamchybek Tashiyev told the Associated Press, “What we’ve seen is terrible, the village of Nura is completely destroyed—100 percent.”

Deputy Emergency Situations Minister Turatbek Dzhunuchaliyev said at a press conference that 128 houses were destroyed and that reverberations from the earthquake were felt as far away as the capital city Bishkek, which is approximately 250 miles from Nura.

Health ministry official Dinara Sagynbayeva told Agence France-Presse, “Efforts to assist the victims are being complicated by the distance of the villages ... from hospitals, by a lack of communications and by the destruction of the roads.”

After the earthquake, an aftershock of 5.1 magnitude was felt through the region, the USGS explained.

Kyrgyzstan, which is close to northwest China, is a seismically active region: in Feb. 2003, a 6.8 magnitude quake claimed 268 lives and destroyed 20,000 homes in the region.

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