The World : Quake Rocks Soviet Asia

A strong earthquake shook mountainous Tadzhikistan in Soviet Central Asia early today, destroying buildings and causing some deaths, the official Tass news agency said. The quake struck the southwestern part of the republic, located north of Afghanistan and bordering China, shortly after 2 a.m. Moscow time and had a magnitude 7 on the 12-point Soviet scale. A quake of this magnitude is considered a major one, Tass said. The epicenter was near the village of Sharora, 30 miles southwest of the republic's capital of Dushanbe. The quake caused "destruction and casualties," including a serious landslide, the news agency added. It was the strongest quake to hit the Soviet Union since the Dec. 7 temblor in Armenia, which measured 10 on the Soviet scale and killed about 25,000 people.

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