Big quake hits Russia's far east

A powerful earthquake has hit Russia’s Far East with tremors felt as far away as Moscow, about 7,000 kilometres (4,400 miles) west of the epicentre.

A powerful earthquake has hit Russia’s Far East with tremors felt as far away as Moscow, about 7,000 kilometres (4,400 miles) west of the epicentre.

The quake registered 8.0 on the Richter scale, said Marina Kolomiyets, a seismic station spokeswoman. The epicentre was in the Sea of Okhotsk, east of the Russian coast and north of Japan. It is one of the most seismically active regions in the world.

The US Geological Survey reported a magnitude of 8.2.

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

The earthquake originated 600 kilometre (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 1977.

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