Thirteen people were killed in a powerful earthquake that hit Uzbekistan's heavily populated Ferghana Valley region early Wednesday, emergency officials said.

A magnitude-6.2 quake in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan hit shortly after midnight in a mountainous area some 22 miles (35 kilometres) away from the eastern Uzbek city of Ferghana, which has a population of more than 200,000.

Uzbekistan's Emergency Services Ministry said in a statement that of the 86 people being treated for injuries, 35 have been hospitalized.

Officials said a number of residential buildings in several towns in the Ferghana Province have been damaged, but have not provided further information regarding the extent of the earthquake's impact.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov has given instructions for emergency workers to provide immediate assistance to victims, a government statement said.

"Local authorities are carrying out the work needed to assist the population affected by the earthquake and have take on the burden of the costs of organizing and carrying out the burial of victims," the Emergency Services Ministry said.

A statement on the Foreign Ministry website said the country's leadership had expressed its condolences to the families of those killed in the earthquake.

Although the epicentre was in Kyrgyzstan, there have so far not been any reports of deaths there.

According to Kanat Abdrakhmatov, head of the National Academy of Science's seismology institute, s the epicentre was in a sparsely inhabited area of Kyrgyzstan with as a result only a few buildings being damaged.

Quakes are a relatively frequent occurrence in this region of former Soviet Central Asia. A 6.6-magnitude quake near Kyrgyzstan's borders with Tajikistan and China flattened the remote mountain village of Nura in July 2008, killing at least 74 people.