DUSHANBE, November 12, 12:51 /ITAR-TASS/. Four people, including one child, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries after a series of earthquakes hit the Vahdat district of Tajikistan on Sunday and Monday morning. The injured have been taken to a local hospital for medical treatment, the head of Tajikistan’s Emergency Situations Committee, Khairidin Abdurakhimov, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
The first seismic disturbance, which local experts said had a magnitude of 5.0, struck 20 kilometres southwest of Dushanbe, on Sunday at 10:15 am local time. A second earthquake with the same magnitude hit the area again at about 5pm, followed by a third tremor with a magnitude of 4.0 at about 7am on Monday, seismologists said.
“Starting from November 11, the government of the country has been delivering humanitarian aid to the disaster-stricken area, which includes articles of prime necessity, cold-weather tents and hygiene items,” committee chief Abdurakhimov said, adding that each of the affected families was provided with a 50kg bag of flour, 25kg of sugar and 25kg of rice, 10kg of vegetable oil and 10kg of spaghetti.
“An emergency response centre, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Murodali Alimardon, has been set up in the Vahdat district. According to up-to-date information, nearly 100 houses have been destroyed and more than 250 others partially damaged by three earthquakes,” Abdurakhimov said.
“A government commission has been formed at the direction of Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon to estimate damage and provide financial assistance to the affected families,” Abdurakhimov said, noting that the commission would also include a number of seismologists, geologists, builders and architects. It is expected to reach a decision on the construction of a new settlement allowing for high seismic intensity.
“The problem is that most of the destroyed houses were old, beaten-cob constructions without foundations and taking no account of the earthquake-endangered zone in the region,” Abdurakhimov said.