Months of fear in Central Asia
Pakistan, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake has lead to the death of nearly 90.000 people, and other states of central Asia have seen a seismically active year. Strong earthquakes in October, November and December caused hundreds of deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. On October 26 the worst disaster happened. A magnitude 7.5 quake occurred in Hindu Kush region, Afghanistan. Due to the depth of about 200 km, the shaking was felt as far as Bangladesh and Russia. In caused damage in six countries - Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. Around 36.000 buildings were destroyed in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 100.000 others damaged. 402 people haven't survived this day.
More quakes in the following weeks have caused additional damage and fatalities. The newest on December 25, which was a direct aftershock of Magnitude 6.2. Six people have died in India and Pakistan, 119 others were injured in Pakistan and Afghanistan. More frequently minor quakes were felt in Northern Pakistan, Afghanistan and India in this weeks, causing fear among the residents of many towns, that a new earthquake like the one of 2005 could happen.
Another quake, magnitude 7.3, hit Tajikistan on December 7. Fortunately the epicenter was located in a remote area of Pamir mountains. "Only" two people were killed by triggered landslides. Some hundred houses suffered damage.
The neighbour Kyrgyzstan was affected by several quakes in November, one of them lead to the worst disaster of the country for many years. Nearly 500 houses collapsed, 3000 others were damaged by a magnitude 5.9 in Osh region on November 17. Though no injuries were caused, several thousand people lost their homes, as some villages were completely destroyed. The government of Kyrgyzstan supported the victims with tents. International relief teams, mainly from India and Azerbaijan, provide food supply, while the reconstruction starts slowly. However, the cold temperatures pose a new threat for many victims in Osh.
Also Naryn, a region in Northern Kyrgysztan, has been hit: A magnitude 5.5 quake on December 7 destroyed some dozen houses.
Kyrgyzstan is one of the few countries in the world, where scientists are working on earthquake prediction and publish regulary forecasts. In August they said they would expect many strong quakes in the last months of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.
The good news: If these scientists are right, there won't be any massive earthquake before 2020. Enough time to rebuild and prepare.
Page 1: The ongoing disaster in Nepal
Page 2: Months of fear in Central Asia
Page 3: Spared China - Punished Borneo?
Page 4: Massive quakes around the pacific "Ring of Fire"
Page 5: Deaths, injuries and destruction