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Thousands in eastern Russia evacuated over tsunami fears

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More than 10,000 people in parts of eastern Russia were evacuated Friday amid fears of a tsunami hitting the region after the massive earthquake in northern Japan, Russian media reported Friday, citing national emergency services.

Evacuation efforts focused on the island of Sakhalin and the island group of South Kurils, with a special focus on the Kuril islands of Kunashir and Shikotan.

Residents of those islands were bought to safety, said the authorities, and the ships that ferried them quickly returned to harbours.

The islands themselves registered four separate earthquakes registering a magnitude of about 5.0 over a course of 15 to 20 minutes, reported Interfax. This came as the larger earthquake of magnitude 8.9 hit northern Japan.

‘Dishes were rattled and interior fittings were shook in apartments, but no houses were destroyed. All vital services are functioning as normal,’ said an employee of Russia’s civil services.

However, agricultural activities in the regions have been halted for the duration.

Observation stations have been erected along the islands. Waves of up to five metres are expected. Alarms had also been raised on the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka.


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