6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Tajikistan and China
On Thursday, February 23, 2021, a powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook Tajikistan near the border of China's Xinjiang region. The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the quake had a magnitude of 7.2 and a depth of 10 kilometers. Tremors of the quake were strongly felt in China's Xinjiang region, as well as in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Thus far, no injuries or fatalities have been reported.
The USGS predicted that virtually no people would be affected by landslides caused by the quake. Two earthquakes, measuring 5.0 and 4.6 on the Richter scale, quickly followed one another and shook the region. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) tweeted about a notable quake, providing preliminary information of a magnitude 6.8 occurring 67 km west of Murgh
Tajikistan is highly prone to natural disasters and has a history of earthquakes and avalanches. In February, an avalanche in the Gorno-Badakhshan region resulted in the death of nine people, and another person perished due to an avalanche near Dushanbe, the capital. The USGS estimated that “little or no population” would be exposed to landslides from the quake, adding that the epicenter appeared to be located in Upper Badakhshan, a province bordering Afghanistan and China.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken stock of the situation and is monitoring developments relating to the impact of the earthquake. India had earlier sent relief materials as well as medical and rescue teams to Turkey and Syria after powerful quakes struck those countries.
The epicentre was estimated to be 82km away from the China-Xinjiang border and the tremor was felt in cities such as Kashgar and Artux in the Xinjiang region. Power supply and communication remained normal in Kashgar, while the Xinjiang railroad department called a halt to passenger trains running on the Aksu to Kashgar section. Chinese local authorities announced they were conducting inspections of bridges, tunnels and signal equipment.
Experts have cautioned that the repercussions would be disastrous if the dam behind Lake Sarez, located in the Pamir mountains, should be breached.
In conclusion, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Tajikistan on Thursday, February 23, 2021, with tremors strongly shaking parts of neighbouring China.
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