Almaty shaken by shockwaves of 7-magnitude earthquake

Almaty shaken by shockwaves of 7-magnitude earthquake
Zones, in yellow, of surface faulting associated with the 1911 8.0-magnitude Kemin earthquake (seen in main geological structures around Kyrgyzstan's Issyk Kul lake), which hit Almaty, killing hundreds. / MikeNorton, cc-by-sa 3.0
By bne IntelIiNews January 22, 2024

Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty was shaken by the shockwaves of a 7.01-magnitude earthquake on the evening of January 22.

There were no reports of casualties in initial local reporting and bne IntelliNews’ Almaty correspondent said the indications were that “it looks like the city only got four points out of the seven”.

As this publication reported in late February last year—following the earthquake catastrophe in southern Turkey and northern Syria, which killed tens of thousands—Almaty lives “in fear of earthquake hell” as the city sits on a huge active fault. Almaty is located in the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains that form part of a broad zone of deformation associated with the continuing collision between the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate.

The German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), which measured the biggest tremors at the “major earthquake” level (a quake of a magnitude between 7.0 and 7.9 is considered “major” and likely to cause serious damage), said the earthquake was centred on the Kyrgyzstan-Xinjiang, China border region and was at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.21 miles). The region is around 264 kilometres (164 miles) southeast of Almaty.

Kazakhstan’s emergencies ministry reported the same quake at a magnitude of 6.7.

In, Almaty, residents fled their houses and gathered outside despite cold weather, with some dressed in pyjamas and slippers, Reuters said, adding no damage was reported.

The tremors, followed by aftershocks about 30 minutes later, were also felt in Uzbekistan.