Kamchatka deep-focus underwater earthquake reaches Moscow

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Friday, an undersea earthquake off the far east coast of Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula was felt in the capital city of Moscow, 10,000 kilometers away. The earthquake occurred 600km below sea level in the Okhotsk Sea and recorded an 8.2 magnitude on the Richter Scale, with the Moscow shock measured as 1.0 on the scale. No casualties or damage were reported.

Citizens in Moscow said that the tremors were not "really strong" but they were enough to shake things hanging on walls. The last time such a shock was felt in Moscow was in 1984.

Alexei Lyubushin, chief researcher of the Institute of Physics of the Earth at the Russian Academy of Sciences said it is common for such quakes to have large scale but low damage, "This is a so-called deep-focus earthquake, that's why it was felt at such a large territory. If an earthquake happens at such a low depth, the waves move along low layers, practically the mantle, but weaken significantly before reaching the earth surface. This is why there usually is no injuries or casualties in such cases. ... The waves can even move through the Earth's core."

Sahkalin Island was under a tsunami warning on Friday, however, it was lifted soon after. The island may have to prepare for a tsunami situation again, with another under sea earthquake predicted in the next week with a magnitude of over 7.0.