Tags: russia | quake | rocks | far east

Russia 8.2 Quake Rocks Far East Region, Prompts Tsunami Warning

Friday, 24 May 2013 01:55 PM

By Ken Mandel

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Russia was hit with a magnitude 8.2 quake Friday that sent tremors as far as Japan and briefly prompted a tsunami warning. No casualties or substantial damage was reported.

The quake hit the country's Far East region, about 4,400 miles east of Moscow. The epicenter was in the Sea of Okhotsk, east of the Russian coast and north of Japan, Marina Kolomiyets, spokeswoman for Obninsk's seismic station of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told The Associated Press.

Kolomiyets said the quake registered 8.0 on the Richter scale, while the U.S. Geological Survey reported it as 8.2. The Kuril-Kamchatka arc epicenter is one of the world’s most seismically active regions.

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"There were repercussions of the quake in Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow, and Europe, in particular Romania. Practically the whole continent shook," Anatoly Tsygankov of the state's Rosgidromet environmental monitoring service told the Interfax news agency.

The quake prompted emergency tsunami warnings from Far East agencies for Sakhalin and the Kuril islands, but they were cancelled soon afterward.

Residents of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Okhotsk Sea felt tremors for about five minutes, according to Russian media outlets.

While Russians grappled with the massive 8.2 quake, residents in Northern California reacted Thursday to an earthquake that sent tremors to two other states but luckily claimed no lives. The quake did, however, damage a water tank that supplies hundreds of homes with drinking water, according to local authorities.

More than a dozen aftershocks occurred after the 5.7-magnitude quake rattled a remotely populated area in the Sierras in Northern California at 8:47 p.m. local time. The USGS's National Earthquake Center said the temblor centered seven miles from Greenville, about 25 miles southwest of Susanville.

Vibrations were felt from as far away as San Francisco and Reno, Nevada. The aftershocks ranged from 2.6 to 4.9 in magnitude.

"Without question, it's the strongest quake I've ever felt here," Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood told the Associated Press. "It was very unsettling and it lasted long enough to create a measure of anxiety. The supermarkets and stores had a lot of things come off the shelves."

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Pacific Gas & Electric said about 660 customers lost power on the southwestern edge of Lake Almanor at about 9:39 p.m. PT Thursday.

The USGS said the quake was strong enough to significantly damage poorly designed buildings, though the damage was relatively benign. Hagwood said the damaged water system affected about 300 people.

Related stories:

Series of Earthquakes Rattle California

Will Canary Islands El Hierro Eruption Spark Tsunami, Destroy US East Coast?

Californians Learn to Live With Earthquake Fears

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