Accessibility links

Breaking News

Earthquake Hits Central Asia's Ferghana Valley

A strong earthquake has hit the border region of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan overnight with tremors felt far from the epicenter and some people in Central Asia's Ferghana Valley leaving their homes in panic.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured 6.2, with an epicenter about 40 kilometers southwest of Ferghana, in eastern Uzbekistan.

The Kyrgyz Emergencies Ministry said the epicenter was about 50 kilometers from the main regional town of Batken and just 125 kilometers from Osh, the main city in the south of Kyrgyzstan.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. But local officials say 11 villages in the Batken region were without electricity after a transformer was knocked out. Some villagers also were reporting damage to their homes.

Kyrgyz officials say the full extent of damage in remote parts of the Ferghana Valley may only become apparent after a special team dispatched from Bishkek finishes its work in the area.

A Russian news reports said the quake was felt as far away as Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, some 300 kilometers from the epicenter.

The Ferghana Valley is shared by Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan and is susceptible to earthquakes.

In 2008, a powerful quake killed more than 70 people in Kyrgyzstan.

In 1966, the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, was seriously damaged by a 7.5-magnitude earthquake that left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

compiled from agency reports