Friday, May 24, 2013


8.2 quake rattles Russia's Sakhalin region

MOSCOW (AP) -- A powerful earthquake on Friday hit Russia's Far East with tremors felt as far away as Moscow, about 7,000 kilometers (4,400 miles) west of the epicenter.
                                         EARTHQUAKE HITS RUSSIA'S FAR EAST

Marina Kolomiyets, spokeswoman for Obninsk's seismic station of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told The Associated Press the epicenter was in the Sea of Okhotsk, east of the Russian coast and north of Japan.

She said the quake registered 8.0 on the Richter scale.

Tremors felt in Moscow as 8.2 quake rattles Russia's Sakhalin region
The U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude of 8.2. The epicenter was in the Kuril-Kamchatka arc, one of the most seismically active regions in the world.

Emergency agencies in the Far East issued a tsunami warning for Sakhalin and the Kuril islands, but lifted it soon afterwards.

Kolomiyets said the earthquake originated 600 kilometers (375 miles) under the sea bed and with the tremors so far down they have the potential to spread quite far.

Russian news agencies reported that residents of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Okhotsk Sea felt the tremors for about five minutes. Residents ran out of the buildings. School children were evacuated.

Tremors were felt in Moscow, prompting some people to evacuate from buildings across the city.

Tremors are extremely rare in Moscow, the last recorded instance was in the 1977. The Russian Meteorological Service confirmed these reports but said they did not have immediate information about the magnitude of the tremors of Moscow.

Russian news agencies also cited eyewitnesses reporting strong tremors across Siberia.

Tremors have been felt all across Russia and in Europe, following a major 8.2 earthquake in the Sakhalin region. Panicking Muscovites began calling security services, and some decided to leave their homes.

The residents informed security services of vibration and tremors that caused furniture and kitchen utensils to move.

The magnitude of the tremors felt in Moscow was no higher than 1 on the Richter scale, the Agency of Hydrometeorological and Environmental monitoring indicated.

“The aftershocks occurred in Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow, in Europe – for instance, in Romania. Almost the entire continent was shaken,” Anatoly Tsygankov, the head of the Situation Center for Agency of Hydrometeorological and Environmental monitoring told Interfax news agency.

Russia’s Emergency Ministry said that all of its departments are on high alert following the quake in the Okhotsk Sea.

“Our special attention is on the coastal area. The Ministry is going to watch out for the possible aftershocks. At the moment there’s absolutely no threat of tsunami, no buildings are destroyed, there are no injured and people are in no danger” Ministry representative Irina Rossius said.

Some Sakhalin region residents reported that they were unable to turn on electronic devices after the earthquake.

In the meantime, the seismic forecasters say that another quake with the magnitude of over 7 is expected to hit the Sakhalin region in the coming week.

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