Moderate earthquake kills one in Tajikistan

One man was killed when a moderate, 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck in central Tajikistan early Sunday, damaging several buildings.

The most damage occurred in the country's Garm district, where one man was killed by a collapsing wall, Nargis Nurova of Tajikistan's emergency situations committee told AFP.

Two buildings were completely destroyed, and several more were damaged, she said. The quake also caused a mudslide, burying alive herds of cows and sheep, she added.

The US Geological Survey located the epicenter of the tremor, which occurred at 4:28 am (2328 GMT Saturday), at around 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of the city of Kulob at a depth of 10 kilometres.

Residents in the capital Dushanbe some 140 kilometres (90 miles) away felt tremors of about magnitude 4.0, a representative of the geophysics department in Tajikistan's Academy of Sciences told AFP.

The reading was based on the open-ended Moment Magnitude scale, now used by US seismologists, which measures the area of the fault that ruptured and the total energy released.

Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, is mostly covered by mountains, with earthquakes occurring on a nearly monthly basis.

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