Almaty: In the early hours of Tuesday morning, a formidable earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale struck the mountainous border region between China and Kyrgyzstan, causing extensive damage and resulting in a loss of life for at least three individuals. The epicenter of the quake was situated in China’s Xinjiang region, approximately 140 kilometers west of Aksu, and occurred around 2:00 am local time.
The disaster caused the tragic loss of three lives, with an additional five individuals sustaining injuries. The impact of the earthquake prompted the relocation of 12,426 people in the affected area. In Almaty, Kazakhstan, 44 individuals sought medical assistance, according to reports from the health ministry. Disturbing images circulating on social media depicted citizens evacuating buildings, while CCTV footage revealed the extent of damages, including collapsed structures and ongoing rescue efforts.
Akqi County in Xinjiang reported six injuries, with two classified as serious, along with 47 buildings collapsing and 78 sustaining damage. Wushi County, located nearby, also experienced structural damage, witnessing the collapse of houses and livestock sheds. Video footage vividly illustrated the intensity of the quake, causing household items to fall and infrastructure to suffer significant harm. The aftermath included several aftershocks, with magnitudes reaching as high as 5.5.
The seismic tremors reached as far as New Delhi, located 1,400 kilometers away. Witnesses in Aksu described people braving frigid temperatures to seek safety outside during the shaking. In Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, residents fled their homes as walls shook and furniture shifted. Despite the absence of casualties or damage reported in Bishkek by the Kyrgyz Ministry for Emergency Situations, the earthquake’s impact extended to five villages within 20 kilometers of the epicenter.