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Almaty shocked with 5 magnitude earthquake 16 марта 2015, 02:13

A strong earthquake happened very close to Almaty on March 15. It was very clearly felt in the city.
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A strong earthquake happened very close to Almaty on March 15. It was very clearly felt in the city, Tengrinews reports.

The earthquake happened four minutes after 8 p.m. Astana time. The epicenter was in the mountains a mere 28 km south-west from Almaty at the depth of 8 km.

According to EMSC the earthquake was a 5.1M. This is considered a strong quake on 8M scale. According to the Seismological Experimental Methodical Expedition of Kazakhstan, the earthquake was a 6.3 magnitude one.

Almaty city residents felt the earthquake as a 4-5 magnitude quake.

"It came in one strong jolt," an Almaty resident shared. "First there was a rumbling, then a loud pop, then the vertical shock," another one said. But those are the reports from the people who were inside buildings whereas many of those lucky ones who were on the more when the shock came said they didn't feed a thing.  

According to a source from Almaty-based Institute of Seismology, foreshocks of around 3 in magnitude had been repeatedly registered since morning that day. Then came the main shock. And now it is likely to be followed by insignificant aftershocks of around 3M for some time.     

"There is no reason to worry or panic," the message released by the Almaty Emergency Situation Department after the earthquake said.

The department's field services have started checking residential buildings, vital infrastructure and plants for cracks and other damage from the earthquake. An operation headquarters have been set up.  

KazSeleZachita, a department responsible for anti-flood security of Almaty, has stepped up monitoring of mountain lakes to make sure that the earthquake has not created any cavities or changes in the landscape that can cause any of the lakes to spill wiping and flooding everything located downhill. They have confirmed that there is no immediate threat to the lives or health of Almaty residents.

By Tatyana Kuzmina

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