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The knowledge of the largest expected earthquake magnitude in a region is one of the key issues in probabilistic seismic hazard calculations and the estimation of worst-case scenarios. Earthquake catalogues are the most informative source of information for the inference of earthquake magnitudes. We analysed the earthquake catalogue for Central Asia with respect to the largest expected magnitudes mT in a pre-defined time horizon Tf using a recently developed statistical methodology, extended by the explicit probabilistic consideration of magnitude errors. For this aim, we assumed broad error distributions for historical events, whereas the magnitudes of recently recorded instrumental earthquakes had smaller errors. The results indicate high probabilities for the occurrence of large events (M≥8), even in short time intervals of a few decades. The expected magnitudes relative to the assumed maximum possible magnitude are generally higher for intermediate-depth earthquakes (51–300 km) than for shallow events (0–50 km). For long future time horizons, for example, a few hundred years, earthquakes with M≥8.5 have to be taken into account, although, apart from the 1889 Chilik earthquake, it is probable that no such event occurred during the observation period of the catalogue.

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