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Powerful earthquake hits China-Kyrgyzstan border

This photo shows people gathering after they left their homes when an earthquake was felt in Almaty, Kazakhstan on January 23, 2023. (Photo by AP)

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake has hit the mountainous China-Kyrgyzstan border, causing several injuries and destroying houses.

The quake was registered at 2:09 am Tuesday (1809 GMT Monday) at a depth of 22 km in Wushi County in China’s Xinjiang region, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).

The Xinjiang Earthquake Agency said five villages located within a 20-km radius around the epicenter.

Authorities said that six people were injured in the quake that also damaged 78 houses and destroyed 47 others in cold weather.

Some agricultural structures were also collapsed, while electricity was temporarily knocked out.

Military troops were deployed to the region to clear rubble and set up tents for those displaced.

The Xinjiang railway department immediately stopped operations and 27 trains were reportedly affected by the quake.

The US Geological Survey said the quake measured 7.0 magnitude and took place in the seismically active Tian Shan mountain range.

Cao Yanglong, in Aksu on a business trip, told Xinhua that while on the 21st floor of a hotel, he felt like he was “going to be shaken out of bed.”

In nearby Kazakhstan, people fled their homes to seek refuge in the streets in the capital Bishkek, and the country’s biggest city, Almaty.

Bohobek Azhikeev, head of the Kyrgyz Ministry for Emergency Situations, said that “no casualties or damage have been registered in the city of Bishkek.”

The tremors, followed by aftershocks about 30 minutes later, were also felt in Uzbekistan.         

Strong tremors were also reported in India’s New Delhi, about 1,400 kilometers away, according to local TV channels in the Indian capital.

Last month, 148 people were killed and thousands were also displaced when a quake struck Gansu Province in the northwest of China.

That quake was China’s deadliest since 2014 when more than 600 people were killed in Yunnan province in the country’s southwest.

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