Two earthquakes hit Tajikistan on March 23, damaging hundreds of houses and killing more than 100 sheep and cattle.
Umeda Yusufi, spokeswoman of the Central Asian nation’s Committee for Emergencies, said in a statement that the first earthquake’s epicenter was near the village of Paldorak in the Kuhistoni Mastchoh district of the northern region of Sughd.
The first earthquake struck overnight and had a magnitude of 5 or 6 at its epicenter, Yusufi said. It was also felt at lower magnitudes in the captal, Dushanbe, and in the Rasht region and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. The second earthquake occurred hours after the first at around 8 a.m. It also struck in the Kuhistoni Mastchoh district but was weaker than the first.
According to Yusufi, there were no casualties caused by the earthquakes.
An official of the Paldorak village, Rajabmahmad Badalov, told RFE/RL that some 300 houses were damaged by the earthquake and more than 100 heads of livestock perished.
Badalov also said many residents of the village prefer to stay outside, fearing aftershocks, and will spend the next night in their cars.
Yusufi told RFE/RL that the government set up a special commission to estimate the damages cause by the earthquakes. Prime Minister Kohir Rasulzoda and the Sughd region’s governor, Rajabboi Ahmadzoda, are currently in the area affected by the earthquakes.
Two days before the March 23 earthquake, an earthquake in Tajikistan forced many people in the former Soviet republic to stay outside for several hours.
Tajikistan is located in one of the most seismically dangerous areas in Asia. Each year hundreds of earthquakes are registered in the mostly mountainous country, which often cause deadly mudslides or snow avalanches.
Last month, avalanches caused by heavy snow in the eastern Gorno-Badakhshan region killed 17 people.