Saturday 26 December 2020

Magnitude 5.2 Earthquake in western Kyrgyzstan.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.2 Earthquake at a depth of 28.0 km, in western Kyrgyzstan, 66 km to the northwest of the city of Shakhimardan an enclave of Uzbekistan surrounded by Kyrgyzstan, slightly before 4.30 pm local time (slightly before 10.30 am GMT) on Saturday 26 December 2020. There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event, but it may have been felt locally.

The approximate location of the 26 December 2020 Kyrgyzstan Earthquake. USGS.

The quake occurred in the Pamiro-Alai Mountains, which form the border between Kyrgyzstan, Khazakhstan and China, and form a western extension of the the greater  Tian Shan range. The Tian Shan are part of the Himalayan Orogenic Belt, mountains in Central Asia pushed upwards by the collision of India and Asia. The Indian Plate is currently pushing into the Eurasian Plate from the south at a rate of 3 cm per year. Since both are continental plates, which do not subduct, the Eurasian Plate is folding and buckling, causing uplift in the Himalayas and other mountains of Central Asia.

The movement of India relative to Asia, and the blocks within the eastern part if the Eurasian Plate. University of Wollongong.

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