Kyrgyzstan mourns after quake kills at least 74
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — Rescuers in Kyrgyzstan searched the rubble for signs of life after an earthquake that killed at least 74 people.
The 6.6-magnitude quake near Kyrgyzstan's borders with Tajikistan and China flattened the remote village of Nura, leaving just a handful of small houses standing in the shadow of high mountains.
At least 30 of the dead were of preschool age, and 93 children have been hospitalized with shock, physical injuries or both, Health Ministry official Toktomat Abdymomunov said. Some lost both their parents in Sunday's quake.
Some 140 injured villagers have been ferried by helicopter to hospitals in the nearest sizable city, the southern regional center of Osh, more than 60 miles away. A 17-year-old girl died in an Osh hospital late Monday despite doctors' efforts, Abdymomunov said.
The 6.6-magnitude temblor was followed by a 5.1-magnitude aftershock and other tremors.
There have been no reports of casualties in Tajikistan or China.
Russia said it was sending a planeload of tents and other emergency supplies Tuesday. The U.N. refugee agency said it sent an initial consignment of 400 mattresses and 1,500 blankets from its warehouse in Osh on Monday, as well as an assessment team with "urgently needed communications equipment."
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Bishkek office is also donating $20,000 to help quake victims.
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev visited the affected zone Tuesday, his office said. The country observed an official day of mourning Tuesday.
Earthquakes are common in the mountains of former Soviet Central Asia, adding to the troubles for residents of the impoverished area.