A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit a lightly populated and remote area of Tajikistan early Thursday morning. The earthquake struck near China’s far western Xinjiang region and was located 67 kilometers (41 miles) west of Murghob Tajikistan with a depth of 20 kilometers (12 miles) below ground according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
There have been no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the earthquake which occurred at 05:37:40 (UTC+05:00). However, given the remote location of the quake, it may take some time to fully assess the extent of the damage.
The earthquake was also felt in neighboring countries including Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan where buildings reportedly shook for several seconds. The Tajikistan government has not yet issued any statements regarding the earthquake.
This is not the first time that Tajikistan has been hit by a powerful earthquake. In 2015 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the country killing two people and injuring over 100. Tajikistan is located in a seismically active region with numerous fault lines running through the country.
As more information becomes available authorities are urging residents in the affected areas to remain calm and take necessary precautions. Emergency services have been put on high alert and the situation is being closely monitored.