TBILISI, DFWatch–A 3.7 magnitude earthquake rattled the south central slopes of the Caucasus mountains Wednesday.
The earthquake occurred at 4:36 pm Tbilisi time and had its epicenter near the mining town Tkibuli, in western Georgia.
According to Tamaz Dolaberidze, President of the Georgian Trade Union of Metallurgy, Mining and Chemical Industry Workers, the exact epicenter was located 5 kms north from the town.
The quake caused a minor segment of Tkibuli’s Mindeli coal mine to collapse, and one miner fractured his leg, Dolaberidze wrote on his Facebook page.
There have been no other damages reported so far.
Tkibuli, the largest town in Zemo Imereti, or Highland Imereti, lies at the foot of the Caucasus mountains, close to Racha, the most quake-prone region of Georgia.
In August 2011, a 5.5 magnitude quake occurred in Racha, about 50 kms northeast of Tkibuli, causing also minor damages to the buildings in this mostly rural area.
However, the most destructive earthquake in the same area – Imereti Highlands and Racha – happened in 1991. It had a magnitude of 6.9 magnitude and caused the death of 270 people, up to 50,000 buildings were ruined or seriously damaged and almost 100,000 people were left without a shelter. According to official data it was the most powerful earthquake recorded in Georgia. It was slightly stronger than the catastrophic Spitak earthquake in Armenia in 1988 that left up to 50,000 people dead.