Earthquake in Kyrgyzstan sends tremors to Almaty
A moderate earthquake of magnitude 5.6 has struck Kyrgyzstan on November 14, just 106 kilometers south of Almaty, Tengrinews correspondent reports citing European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.
The earthquake happened at 7:24 a.m. Almaty time. Its epicentre was 40 kilometers to the south-east of Cholpon-Ata in Kyrgyzstan and its depth was 47 kilometers. Its coordinates were 42.32 degrees north latitude and 77.32 degrees east longitude.
Meanwhile, the website of the Seismological Experimental-Methodical Expedition of the Committee of Science of the Ministry of Education of Kazakhstan reported that the epicenter of the earthquake was 130 kilometers south of Almaty and its magnitude reached 6.0.
The tremor was felt very clearly in Almaty even though the magnitude there was only 3-4.
It was followed by two other earthquakes with M4.2 and M5.3 at 7:56 a.m. and 8:09 a.m., both originating at the territory of Kyrgyzstan, the Kazakh agency reported.
The epicenter of the first aftershock lay 20 kilometers deep, 129 kilometers south of Almaty. The second shock was recorded on the same spot. There have been no reports of victims, however damages to some houses and social buildings near the epicenter are noticeable, the press service of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Emergency Situations said.
In the villages of Ton district in Issyk-Kul Region of Kyrgyzstan some buildings have cracks. The Commission for Civil Protection of the Issyk-Kul Region is examining the extent of the damage at the moment. Classes in rural schools close to the epicenter have been cancelled.
Across the border, Kazakhstan is also studying the effects of the earthquake. There were no victims or damages in Kazakhstan.
The press service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Kazakhstan informed that headquarters to assess the impact of the earthquake had been created in Almaty.
The Department of Emergency Situations of Almaty together with Almaty Akimat (Mayor’s Office) are conducting checks and inspections of buildings and structures in the area of seismic activity.
Deputy Head of Emergency Services of Almaty Nurlan Madyarov said that emergency services were monitoring vital facilities, dams and other water management structures. They also said that they launched an alert system via SMS and broadcast interception. The public is being informed about the current situation in the city.
"There are no threats to the life and health of the population of Almaty," they said.
But the aftershocks will be felt for weeks to come, head of Kazakhstan's Seismology Institute Tanatkan Abakanov said. After an earthquake, the crust returns back to normal, which creates aftershocks that are weaker than the first tremors but may continue for several weeks.
Nevertheless, according to forecasts of the Institute, a devastating earthquake of magnitude 6 is not expected in Kazakhstan until the end of the year.
By Dinara Urazova