Earthquake of 6.8 Magnitude Hits Tajikistan

TAJIKISTAN: An earthquake of 6.8 magnitude has hit eastern Tajikistan on Thursday, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake struck around 5.37 am local time at a depth of about 20.5 kilometres.

The epicentre appeared to be in Gorno-Badakhshan, a semi-autonomous eastern region that borders Afghanistan and China, about 67 kilometres from the small mountain town of Murghob, as per China Earthquake Networks Centre reports. Following the initial quake, the area experienced a 5.0-magnitude aftershock about 20 minutes later, followed by a 4.6-magnitude earthquake.

The region where the earthquake occurred is sparsely populated and is surrounded by the towering Pamir Mountains. Lake Sarez, one of Tajikistan’s largest lakes, is located in this area which was created as a result of an earthquake in 1911.

Located behind Lake Sarez is a natural dam deep in the Pamir mountains. Experts have warned the consequences will be catastrophic if the dam is breached.

Earlier this month, nine died in an avalanche in Gorno-Badakhshan, while another person was killed the same day in an avalanche on a highway near the capital Dushanbe.

Tajikistan is highly prone to natural disasters and has a long history of floods, earthquakes, landslides, avalanches and heavy snowfalls.

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