Powerful earthquake hits Central Asian valley
The Ferghana Valley is a major center of cotton and silk production, and the hills above are covered by walnut forests.
Another native of Ferghana, who lives in Kazakhstan, said residents of her home city had been woken by strong shaking at about 0130 local time (1930 GMT). Most people evacuated their apartment blocks and spent the night on the streets.
She told Reuters, after speaking to Ferghana residents by telephone, that people had reported a loud noise before their houses were jolted.
Local residents also reported the destruction of low-rise housing in the nearby town of Margilan, a silk production center. "It's an old town and some of the old houses have been destroyed," she said, requesting anonymity.
Independent news agency www.uznews.net quoted an unnamed resident of Uzbek town of Khamza as saying the local hospital did not have enough room to accommodate the wounded.
Kyrgyzstan's Emergencies Ministry had dispatched a team to the region to investigate damage, said Sultanbek Mamatov, a spokesman for the ministry. Damage to an electricity sub-station had cut off power to several small towns and villages, he said.
Kadamjay, a Kyrgyz town close to the epicenter, was one of the towns affected. Local resident Seitmurad Kozhoyev said by telephone that windows had been shattered and at least one multi-storey apartment block had been badly damaged.
Abdulamid Borbiyev, a 42-year-old businessman from a nearby village, said he knew of no local victims but that he had seen a lot of damage to buildings. Continued...