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Strong Earthquake Shakes China-Kyrgyzstan Border

Strong Earthquake Shakes China-Kyrgyzstan Border

A seismic event of magnitude 7.0 struck the mountainous border region between China and Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday, prompting a swift response from local authorities. The earthquake’s epicenter was located in China’s Xinjiang region, about 140 kilometers west of the city of Aksu. Initial reports indicated at least three injuries resulting from the quake.

In response to the seismic activity, local authorities mobilized a team to the epicenter to assess the situation and provide assistance. China’s Xinhua state news agency reported that approximately 800 personnel were on standby, ready to engage in potential large-scale disaster relief efforts.

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The impact of the earthquake was felt in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, where people sought refuge in the streets as the quake caused walls to shake and furniture to shift. Bohobek Azhikeev, the head of the Kyrgyz Ministry for Emergency Situations, reassured the public in a video message that no casualties or damage had been reported in Bishkek.

The seismic event occurred shortly after 2:00 am (1800 GMT Monday) at a depth of 13 kilometers. In the rural Wushi County near the epicenter, two residential houses and livestock sheds collapsed, leading to a temporary power outage. Additionally, three individuals in a nearby county sustained injuries and were subsequently hospitalized.

Video footage shared on Chinese social media platforms depicted the intensity of the shaking, causing household appliances to crash to the floor. State broadcaster CCTV provided additional visuals, showing firefighters entering damaged buildings with cracked walls, and police assisting an injured local resident.

Residents in Aksu, where the earthquake was particularly intense, reported rushing outside for safety despite frigid early morning temperatures, which hovered around -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit). The seismic effects were also felt as far away as the Indian capital, New Delhi, approximately 1,400 kilometers from the epicenter, where strong tremors were reported.

The earthquake occurred just a day after a separate natural disaster struck southwest China. A landslide buried dozens of people, resulting in at least eight fatalities. This series of events underscores the region’s susceptibility to natural disasters and highlights the need for continued vigilance and preparedness.

As the affected areas grapple with the aftermath of these incidents, both China and Kyrgyzstan are likely to focus on coordinating relief efforts, providing assistance to those affected, and assessing the overall impact on communities and infrastructure. The prompt response from local authorities and the readiness of disaster relief teams are crucial elements in mitigating the consequences of such seismic events and ensuring the well-being of the affected populations.