When we moved here some people told me Dushanbe was boring. I’ve never found that to be the case. I do think you need to make your own fun here since it’s a small town, but being in the CLO office it’s not that difficult to have a very busy social life. Then the earth itself sometimes shakes things up a bit.

On Monday, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck northern Afghanistan. This powerful shock left hundreds dead and thousands injured in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The quake could be felt hundreds of miles away. Including here in Dushanbe.

The magnitude in Dushanbe registered at 6.1. Definitely the largest earthquake I’ve experienced. Shaking lasted for about three minutes. The Embassy was evacuated and by the time everyone was outside it was calm. We managed to account for everyone in about an hour and no damage was reported in Dushanbe.

We were lucky. The epicenter was deep. About 130 miles below the surface, so instead of moving side to side, the earth was moving up and down. It’s frightening to think about what may have happened if it was higher. The earthquake in Nepal struck at a depth of only 5.1 miles and those results were even more devastating.

I try to keep this blog fun and lighthearted. I started this entry with the intention of poking fun at Sean and my incorrect responses to an earthquake – we happened to be together and were treating it like a carnival ride – but that doesn’t sit well with me considering the widespread devastation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Currently, there doesn’t seem to be a specific place to send relief. USAID and UNICEF are always good options, but I’ll update this post if any more focused options become available.


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