A powerful earthquake killed 13 people and injured dozens in a heavily populated part of Uzbekistan today, emergency officials said. The magnitude-6.1 temblor centered in neighboring Kyrgyzstan struck shortly after midnight in a mountainous area some 20 miles away from the eastern Uzbek city of Ferghana, which has a population of more than 200,000. There have so far been no reports of any deaths in Kyrgyzstan, but 86 people were injured in Uzbekistan—of them 35 have been hospitalized, the emergency services ministry said in a statement.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov gave instructions for emergency workers to provide assistance to victims during the aftermath of the country's second earthquake in three years. Officials said a number of residential buildings in several towns in the Ferghana Province have been damaged, but they did not specify the extent of the earthquake's impact. At a depth of 11 miles, today’s quake was shallower than the one in 2008, which could have exacerbated the impact. Quakes are relatively frequent in this region of Central Asia. (Read more Kyrgyzstan stories.)