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Dozens dead in Kyrgyzstan quake

  • Story Highlights
  • Magnitude 6.6 earthquake strikes southern Kyrgyzstan Sunday night
  • Around 70 estimated killed, 120 buildings destroyed, government says
  • Quake rattled large area of Central Asia; damage concentrated near China border
  • Kyrgyz Health Ministry has sets up crisis center to coordinate rescue effort
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MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- A magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck southern Kyrgyzstan late Sunday night killing an estimated 70 people and destroying more than 120 buildings, the government reported Monday.

The earthquake occurred near Kyrgyzstan's border with China.

The earthquake occurred near Kyrgyzstan's border with China.

Gulshat Kadirova, an official from the Kyrgyz Ministry of Emergency Situations, told CNN that casualty figures were preliminary and could rise as rescue efforts progress.

The weekend quake, measured by the U.S. Geological Survey Report, rattled all of Central Asia; however destruction is concentrated in the remote village of Nura on Kyrgyzstan's border with China.

"The remoteness of the villages hit by the earthquake, the absence of means of communications and the destruction of roads are hindering assistance to the injured," the Kyrgyz Health Ministry press service told Interfax.

The Health Ministry of Kyrgyzstan has set-up a crisis center in the region, however rescue efforts remain difficult, according to a ministry official.

The Kyrgyz Emergency Situations Ministry also sent humanitarian aid to the region.

"Four helicopters have just left taking food and blankets to the people affected in the area," a ministry representative told CNN by phone.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent a letter of condolence to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, according to the Kremlin's Web site.

Medvedev noted Russia's readiness to offer assistance.

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Bakiyev is scheduled to visit the destroyed region of Nura this week to monitor the search-and-rescue operations, Kadirova told CNN.

Temblors continued in Central Asia on Monday with two strong earthquakes striking part of Tibet within 15 minutes of each other.

All About KyrgyzstanEarthquakesU.S. Geological Survey

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