Russia earthquake: tsunami warning cancelled after 7.5 magnitude event

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit off Russia’s Kuril Islands on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, prompting a tsunami warning that was later cancelled.

The quake hit at a depth of 59km (37 miles), around 1,400km north-east of the Japanese city of Sapporo, USGS added. There were no early reports of casualties.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre initially said hazardous tsunami waves were possible within 1,000km of the quake’s epicentre. It said earthquakes of this strength in the past had caused tsunamis far from the epicentre.

But later it said “only very small tsunami waves were generated by this earthquake and there is no further threat”.

“Tsunami waves are forecast to be less than 0.3 meters above the tide level,” the center said in its advisory about risks to the coasts of Hawaii, Japan, Russia and the Pacific islands of Midway, the Northern Marianas and Wake Island.

Meteorological officials in Japan issued no alerts, although they said there might be slight tidal changes. A tsunami watch alert was issued for Hawaii and later cancelled.

The four southernmost islands of the Kuril chain – Habomai, Shikotan, Etorofu and Kunashiri – have been disputed between Moscow and Tokyo since the end of the second world war. The Kurils are known as the Northern Territories in Japan.

This is a developing story.

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