DUSHANBE, October 6, 2008, Asia-Plus  -- According Kyrgyzstan’s media, a strong earthquake that occurred on the borders of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and China Sunday night left 58 dead and destroyed 120 residential houses in the village of Toura in Kyrgyzstan’s Alay region.  Referring to Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, Kyrgyz AKIpress cited the magnitude in epicenter, which was some 45 kilometers of Sary-Tash, as up to 8.0 on a 12-point scale.   

Speaking in an interview with Asia-Plus, Mahmadullo Halimov, first deputy head of Tajikistan’s Committee for Emergency Situations (CES), said that in Tajikistan, the nearest area to the epicenter of Sunday’s earthquake was the Karakul jamoat in GBAO’s Murgab district, some 50 kilometers.  No damage or injured was reported in Karakul, according to the Tajik emergencies official.    

“27 families currently live in yurts (a yurt is a portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia) in the Karakul jamoat, and nobody of them suffered from the tremor and no damage was reported there,” said Halimov.  “Therefore, there is no necessity to send rescue teams there.”

He further added that they are currently considering issues related to providing humanitarian aid to the quake-hit areas in southern Kyrgyzstan.   

As it had been reported earlier, an earthquake measuring 3.0-4.0 on a 12-point scale jolted Dushanbe on October 5 at around 9:53 p.m., according to the Dushanbe seismological station.

            The quake, centered near the borders of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China, could also be felt in other regions of Tajikistan.  In Khorog, capital of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (Gorno Badakhshan or GBAO), the magnitude was reported at 4.5      

In the epicenter, the Dushanbe seismological center cited the magnitude as 6.0-6.5.

A strong earthquake hit China''s remote northwestern region of Xinjiang early on Monday, Xinhua reported.  The quake, which the USUSGS put at magnitude 5.7, happened at about midnight local time near China''s western border with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.  According to the USGS''s website, it occurred about 20 minutes after a stronger quake that struck nearby in Kyrgyzstan.  Xinhua said that people in Kashgar, Xinjiang, some 180 kilometers away, were able to feel the quake.