ALMATY: A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck the Kyrgyzstan-Xinjiang border region on Tuesday with reports of several injuries and collapsed houses, Chinese state media reported.
The epicentre of the quake struck at 2.09am and at a depth of 22km in the mountainous border area of Wushi County in northwest China’s Xinjiang region, according to the China Earthquake Administration.
According to the Xinjiang Earthquake Agency, the epicentre is about 50km from Wushi, with five villages located within a 20km radius around the epicentre, Xinhua News reported.
As of 8am, 40 aftershocks have been recorded, according to China Earthquake Networks Centre.
Netizens on China’s Weibo social media platform reported that the earthquake was felt strongly in Urumqi, Korla, Kashgar, Yining and surrounding areas.
The Xinjiang railway department immediately stopped operations and 27 trains were reportedly affected by the earthquake, Xinhua said.
China’s Earthquake Administration said it immediately activated emergency response services in conjunction with the Office of the Earthquake Relief Headquarters and the emergency management ministry, dispatching a group to guide local rescue efforts.
China’s emergency management ministry said several departments coordinated relief efforts, providing cotton tents, coats, quilts, mattresses, folding beds and heating stoves, Xinhua said.
Over the past 24 hours, Xinjiang has been struck by a few sizeable earthquakes.
In nearby Kazakhstan, the emergencies ministry reported the latest earthquake at a magnitude of 6.7.
In Kazakhstan’s biggest city, Almaty, residents fled their houses and gathered outside despite cold weather, some dressed in pyjamas and slippers. No damage has been reported.
The tremors, followed by aftershocks about 30 minutes later, were also felt in Uzbekistan.