10/06/2008, 00.00
KYRGYZSTAN
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Earthquake hits Kyrgyzstan, killing more than 60 people, razing village to the ground

Rescue workers are still trying to find survivors in the village of Nura on the border between Kyrgyzstan and China, destroyed by a 6.6-mangitude quake that hit Central Asia yesterday. The quake was felt in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and China, where minor damage was reported.
Bishkek (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A major earthquake has hit Kyrgyzstan, killing more than 60 people. The 6.6-magnitude quake struck at 21.52 local time (15.52 GMT), on Sunday. Hardest hit was the southern province of Osh, on the border with China.

Kyrgyzstan’s Emergency Situations Ministry said rescue workers were still searching for survivors. In the meantime an assessment of the damage is beginning.

Whole buildings collapsed and rescue teams are still trying to find survivors under the rubble.

Destruction was concentrated in Nura, a remote village in the mountains close to the border with China. Its isolated location is hampering rescue operations.

The village has been literally razed to the ground with 128 houses destroyed and 50 people wounded.

“The picture we saw was frightening. The village of Nura is fully destroyed, 100 per cent, there are many injured,” Emergency Situations Minister Kamchybek Tashiyev was quoted as saying.

Residents throughout Central Asia felt the quake, including Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as China's north-western province of Xinjiang where officials reported minor damage to houses but no casualties.

In 1966, the Uzbek capital of Tashkent was flattened by a 7.5 earthquake and hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless.

A 6.0 magnitude quake rocked Tashkent this August but there were no dead, nor damages.

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