Deadly earthquake in Tajikistan - 2 persons killed, 13 injured - 237 houses collapsed and many more damaged

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Damage report in cooperation with the 2015 Earthquake Impact Database
EID on Google Docs : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PdjX8hu2nyG63euop1ZNyrYlsuuB9AbBysmY3evrMEk
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With the collaboration of Carlos Robles and Jens Skapski

Important update December 9, 09:36 UTC : The Tajikistan Prime Minister informed the press about the earthquake.
Badakshan district: 2 people killed, 13 injured, 237 housed collapsed and 588 damaged to various extend.
Rushan district : an additional 22 houses collapsed and 205 damaged to various extend.
1000 people are left homeless and all of them live in temporary shelters (including food and warm clothing)
A lot of public buildings, infrastructure and public facilities have been seriously damaged. Schools, libraries and other public facilities are affected.

Image courtesy ozodagon.com

Image courtesy ozodagon.com


Update 08:50 UTC : The weather conditions in the Pamir mountains are that bad that helicopters cannot fly rescue and relief missions today.

Important update 08:40 UTC : A second person was unfortunately indirectly killed by the earthquake. A police officer was killed when a rock fell on the police car. 3 other police were injured during this unfortunate accident.

Update 08:36 UTC : The president of Tajikistan has ordered additional measures for rescue and relief in the hardest hit areas.
According to the latest damage data more than 500 homes were damaged and even destroyed and dozens of people were injured. Unfortunately, there are dead, says the press service of the president.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 09.44.31

Update 08:35 UTC :According to preliminary data of the Committee for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense (CSF) in Tajikistan, damage was recorded in Gudar, where several houses were partially damaged and 10 people were injured. Also, several houses were damaged in the town Bulunkul Murghab district.


Update 22:49 UTC : We will have to wait until the UTC/Tajikistan morning before we will be able to report more details of the damage/injured.

Update 13:50 UTC : Big problems to reach people in the greater epicenter area by wireless phones. The collapse of some communications towers along the main M41 road will be the reason for that (an always recurring phenomenon). These poles should be build to withstand at least an M8 earthquake as they are a prime beacon in rescue and relief if a major event happens. This same remark is important all over the world.

Update 13:50 UTC : China, Xinjiang: Residents of the prefectures of Kashgar, Hotan, Aksu and Kizilsu Kirgiz felt strong tremors, and people in buildings rushed out to safety. "Ceiling lights swayed and furniture moved," said a witness in Kashgar. "The jolt lasted for less than a minute." Some railway sections in the south of Xinjiang closed after the quake.

Important update 13:41 UTC : 1 village buried by a landslide, several houses destroyed, some villages nearly completely destroyed, 10 injuries confirmed, minor damage along the Afghan border with several panic injuries

Update 13:34 UTC : NO breakthrough was reported from the Lake Sarez, a point of special attention to the authorities. A breakthrough (more details below) could cause dramatic flooding implications in the areas below and as far as Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. Nearly 5 million people are living in the potential flooding area.

Important update 13:26 UTC :  A Russian BBC report speaks of serious damage in the Murghab and Bartang areas. Villages like Godard, Nisor, Gudar, and Ruhchi report damage and injured people, some seriously.This is the first more detailed report we have seen so far.

Update 12:58 UTC : The Tajikistan authorities send 2 teams to the greater epicenter area as they got reports from rockfall and damaged houses in Shugnan.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 13.57.52

Update 12:39 UTC : Unfortunately we have to report that 1 person was killed in his car when it was hit by a fallen rock. The place of the incident was Vanj at approx. 110 km from the epicenter.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 13.38.30

Update 10:43 UTC : Based on calculations of the Dr. James Daniell CatDat system, we can report a preliminary damage assessment of 5 million $ but there are still a lot of uncertain factors. CatDat comes out at a median of 7 fatalities (theoretically). We have counted a population of approx. 1300 people in a radius of 30 km around the epicenter.

Update 10:07 UTC : Tremors were felt more than 40 seconds at 12.55 local time (09.55 in Kyiv). Many Dushanbe residents rushed out into the street. The cabinets rattled, swinging chandeliers.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW! - Lake Sarez (The lake where the epicenter is located) was formed in 1911 after a massive quake (M7.4) triggered a 2 km³ landslide. The lake is called by scientists as "the sleeping dragon". In 1911 3 villages were swallowed by the rising waters of the new lake. There is no road to the lakeside. To reach it, it is necessary to walk the 18 km.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.39.22

Image courtesy centralasia-adventures.com

Update 09:27 UTC : GDACS has calculated that the population in a radius of 50 km around the epicenter is max. 10,000. In a radius of 75 km, 20,000 and in a radius of 100 km 56,000 people. We believe that the 50 km radius is the max. to be considered as dangerous for serious damage and injuries.

Update 09:21 UTC : Below a tourist map of the direct epicenter area. All the printed locations are villages who are located in the epicenter area and are in danger of being damaged.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 10.21.01

Update 08:53 UTC : A series of aftershocks have been reported already. Aftershocks up to M6 or even more are to be expected.

Update 08:44 UTC : It will take many hours before that we will have information from the epicenter area, but leave your browser session open as we will trace any news and report it to our readers immediately thereafter.

Update 08:42 UTC : Below the focal mechanism of the earthquake.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 09.42.15

Update 08:39 UTC : The image below gives an idea of the landscape in the wider epicenter area. Beautiful, but extremely dangerous for landslides.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 09.39.13

Update 08:35 UTC : Some more good news. The epicenter is located in the very sparsely populated Badakhshan National Park and almost next to Lake Sarez

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 09.35.13

Update 08:22 UTC : Another reason to be negative about the impact of this earthquake is the building style of the houses in the region. These houses have normally no earthquake resistance at all. On the positive side though is that the underground is rocky which shakes a lot less than softer material.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 09.22.24

Update 08:19 UTC : USGS reports a hypocenter depth of 28 km. If this preliminary depth gets confirmed, ER expects more injured than the current number Prof. Max Wyss expects. His calculations are based on a depth of 10 km, which is more destructive for the nearby area but less destructive for a more wider area. We do think however that USGS depth is more to believed as even people in India felt this earthquake and as generally deeper earthquakes are felt in a wider area

Update 08:18 UTC : Professor Max Wyss, who specializes in theoretical prognoses of injuries and fatalities expects : 10 to 300 injured and 0 to 70 fatalities

Update 08:13 UTC : The epicenter is far away from major populated areas but can be a killer in the mountain villages. Big disadvantage in earthquakes like this is the very difficult way to reach these villages as the roads are often blocked by massive landslides.

Update 08:06 UTC : The epicenter is in the middle of the mountains of Tajikistan. Nevertheless the impact from an earthquake like this will be very big, especially for side effects like landslides.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 09.08.39

USGS
109km (68mi) W of Murghob, Tajikistan
133km (83mi) NE of Khorugh, Tajikistan
196km (122mi) NNE of Ishkashim, Tajikistan
204km (127mi) NNE of Ashkasham, Afghanistan
345km (214mi) E of Dushanbe, Tajikistan

EMSC
364 km E of Dushanbe, Tajikistan / pop: 543,107 / local time: 12:50:05.1 2015-12-07
138 km NE of Khorugh, Tajikistan / pop: 30,000 / local time: 12:50:05.1 2015-12-07
93 km W of Murghob, Tajikistan / pop: 10,815 / local time: 12:50:05.1 2015-12-07

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 7.2

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2015-12-07 12:50:04

GMT/UTC Time : 2015-12-07 07:50:04

Depth (Hypocenter) : 11 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Share your earthquake experience (I Have Felt It) with our readers.
Click on the "I Felt It" button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Karakul, Tajikistan Dec 07 22:01 4.5 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
GEOFON Tajikistan-xinjiang Border Region Dec 07 18:54 4.6 15 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Tajikistan Dec 07 18:54 4.5 33 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Karakul, Tajikistan Dec 07 18:54 4.5 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Tajikistan Dec 07 17:51 4.7 30 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Murghob, Tajikistan Dec 07 17:51 4.7 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Murghob, Tajikistan Dec 07 16:27 4.3 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Tajikistan Dec 07 15:24 4.8 68 MAP I Felt It
GEOFON Tajikistan-xinjiang Border Region Dec 07 15:23 4.9 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Karakul, Tajikistan Dec 07 15:23 4.8 12 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Tajikistan Dec 07 14:27 4.6 30 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Karakul, Tajikistan Dec 07 14:27 4.6 5 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Tajikistan Dec 07 11:48 5.0 40 MAP I Felt It
USGS Karakul, Tajikistan Dec 07 11:48 4.9 39 MAP I Felt It
GEOFON Tajikistan-xinjiang Border Region Dec 07 11:48 4.9 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Murghob, Tajikistan Dec 07 10:34 4.6 31 MAP I Felt It INFO
GEOFON Tajikistan Dec 07 10:34 4.7 10 MAP I Felt It
EMSC Tajikistan Dec 07 10:34 4.7 30 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Tajikistan Dec 07 10:05 5.3 30 MAP I Felt It
USGS Karakul, Tajikistan Dec 07 10:04 5.4 23 MAP I Felt It
GEOFON Tajikistan-xinjiang Border Region Dec 07 10:04 5.3 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Karakul, Tajikistan Dec 07 09:24 4.8 34 MAP I Felt It INFO
GEOFON Tajikistan-xinjiang Border Region Dec 07 09:24 4.9 10 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Karakul, Tajikistan Dec 07 08:55 4.8 29 MAP I Felt It INFO
GEOFON Tajikistan Dec 07 08:24 5.0 53 MAP I Felt It INFO
USGS Murghob, Tajikistan Dec 07 08:24 4.8 45 MAP I Felt It INFO
EMSC Tajikistan Dec 07 08:24 4.9 45 MAP I Felt It
USGS Murghob, Tajikistan Dec 07 07:50 7.2 26 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Osh - My property has not been damaged. We just were scared. It continued rather long. So I grabbed my 4 year old son and run outside our apartment building. It was cold outside so in 10 minutes we had to return as we didn't put on warm coats and shows. We have experienced earthquakes several times this autumn. It's so scary!
  • Bartang - Large scale damage in Bartang region about 250 houses were partially or completely destroyed. Few injuries with one human loss from rock fall.
  • EMSC Tajikistan Dec 07 07:50 7.2 30 MAP I Felt It
  • Noida - No damage
  • Andijan - It was so horrible...
  • srinagar Kashmir - light shaking....
  • Faizabad - In 2015 Badakhshan experinced several earthquake eathquake on 26 October 2015 affected more than 8000 families these families lost all thier NFI & Food items still some of them are living with host families. once again Earthquake shock Faizabad city center of Badakhshan and some part of Badakhshan it seems that some houses partially/severely damaged.
  • Kabul - No damage only very slow shake
  • Delhi - Had slight swaying feeling.
  • Osh - no damages
  • NOIDA - Felt light vibrations, suspended lamps started swinging lightly. Most people did not perceive it.
  • Dushanbe - no damage here, just swinging of chandeliers
  • lahore - It was slow but windows and doors can be seen visibly shaking. it lasted for more time then usually. I felt it while sitting on bed.No damage occurred.
  • Dushanbe - Lasted a long time. Wasn't as intense as the recent earthquake in Afghanistan but lasted as long with slow steady shaking.
  • Dushanbe - We felt it in Dushanbe, not very strong shaking, but long. And now the aftershocks are felt in Dushanbe.
  • Islamabad - was standing at kitchen sink, huge jolt forced the sink away from me, tall building - 9th floor - and it was swaying a bit afterwards. Not as bad as 26 October earthquake but still a very noticeable event.
  • Osh - no damage near me
  • GEOFON Tajikistan Dec 07 07:50 7.2 11 MAP I Felt It INFO


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    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
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    Shaking Strength *
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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