Expatica news

Strong 6.8 quake shakes Siberia, no casualties

A strong earthquake measuring 6.8 shook several republics in Russia’s southwestern Siberia on Sunday but caused no casualties or serious damage, the emergencies ministry said.

The tremor, which occurred at 1:20 pm local time (0620 GMT) in the republic of Tyva, had its epicentre about 107 kilometres (66 miles) from the town of Kyzyl, which saw tremors of a similar magnitude on December 27.

The remote and scarcely populated republic on the Mongolian border is one of Russia’s most seismically active regions along with its Pacific Ocean coast.

The regional emergencies ministry said the quake was felt throughout Tyva and neighbouring regions but caused no casualties or any serious structural damage, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

But several locals reported their apartment windows breaking and books and other items falling off shelves, with a series of tremors lasting four or five minutes.

“My photographs and pictures started falling off the walls,” a resident of the town of Novokuznetskaya told RIA Novosti.

The ground also shook in the nearby republic of Kemerovo to the northwest and in several other regions, news reports said.

“I live on the eighth floor. At first I thought I was not feeling well. Then I realised that it was an earthquake,” one woman in Kemerovo told the news agency.

News reports from Krasnoyarsk, one of western Siberia’s largest cities with a population of about a million, said residents felt the earthquake for five to seven seconds.

“The furniture moved and the windows rattled,” an ITAR-TASS dispatch from the city said.

In the republic of Altai to the west of Tyva, residents saw fish being thrown out on shore together with huge waves from a local mountain lake, ITAR-TASS said.

The reading was based on the open-ended Moment Magnitude scale used by US seismologists, which measures the area of the fault that ruptured and the total energy released.