Diplomatic and Military Affairs

11,000 evacuated in Russia after Japanese quake

Updated: 2011-03-11 16:59


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MOSCOW - Russian authorities on Friday evacuated some 11,000 residents from Pacific islands in anticipation of tsunami waves unleashed by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake off Japan's northeastern coast.

Related readings:
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11,000 evacuated in Russia after Japanese quake Tsunami hits, one reported dead after Japan quake

The regional emergency officials said that the tsunami could hit several coastal towns and villages on four Pacific islands, which the Soviet Union seized from Japan in the final days of the World War II. The islands lie as close as six miles (10 kilometers) to Japan's Hokkaido island.

The first tsunami wave was 50 centimeters (1 foot 8 inches) when it reached the village of Malo-Kurilks, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said. There were no immediate reports of damage.

Authorities on the Kamchatka Peninsula further north said the tsunami posed no danger to the area.

Kamchatka, which juts into the Pacific, is studded with active volcanoes, some of which were spewing gases to a height of up to 5,800 meters (over 19,000 feet) Friday, prompting authorities to issue warning to planes in the area. Kamchatka volcanoes are part of the "Ring of Fire" string of volcanoes encircling the Pacific.


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