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20,000 homeless in Tajikistan quake

Jan. 3, 2010 at 5:13 PM

VANCH, Tajikistan, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit Tajikistan, leaving 20,000 people homeless and inflicting about $1.5 million in damage, officials said Sunday.

The temblor struck in the mountainous eastern Gorno-Badakhshan province at 7:15 a.m. local time Saturday. The most damage was registered in the province's Vanch district where the district's two schools, prosecutor's office, recreational center and hospital were destroyed, RIA Novosti reported.

About 1,050 mud dwellings, home to about 20,000 people, were destroyed.

Telephone service and electricity were disrupted, and a main road was blocked by rock and mudslides, the news service said.

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