Tajikistan earthquake
The 7.2-magnitude earthquake was centred in south-eastern TajikistanUSGS

A strong earthquake hit Tajikistan, in central Asia, on 7 December. The 7.2 magnitude tremor has been felt more than 1,000 km way to the south in the Indian capital of New Delhi and in Pakistan.

The epicentre was 109km west of the mountainous region of Murghob, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, adding that it struck at a depth of about 28km. There were no immediate reports on casualties or damage.

On 22 November, another weaker quake struck a sparsely populated region of Afghanistan near the Tajiki border. That magnitude-5.9 earthquake was also felt in New Delhi.

The area is one of the most seismically hazardous in the world, as it sits on the border between the India and Eurasia plates that are moving towards each other. "The collision of these two plates drives the tectonics of the broad region surrounding the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, and causes uplift that produces the highest mountain peaks in the world including the Himalayan, the Karakoram, the Pamir and the Hindu Kush ranges," explained the USGS.

Over the past century, 18 strong tremors with a magnitude of more than 6.5 struck within 250km of the 7 December earthquake's epicentre.