Large earthquake strikes nation of Georgia

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Location of Tskhinval(i) in Georgia.
Image: Iguacu.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) initially reported a magnitude 6.2 earthquake, later downgraded to 5.9, has struck the nation of Georgia. Georgia's meteorology center says the quake registered an 8.0. A magnitude 5.0 aftershock struck just minutes later.

The initial quake occurred at 3:41 a.m. (local time) and was centered 80 kilometers (50 miles) Northeast of Kutaisi, Georgia. It registered at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). The aftershock was centered in roughly the same location and depth and struck minutes later at 3:49 a.m.

Power temporarily went out in many parts of Tskhinvali, but returned a short time later. According to the USGS, damage from the initial could have been "moderate to heavy," though no major damage was reported. Fallen rocks were reported to have blocked some roads, and some homes sustained minor damage to ceilings and walls. At least 10,000 people live within miles of the epicenter. No one was injured.