Two Moderate Quakes Hit Off Kuril Chain

Two moderate earthquakes were registered in the vicinity of Russia’s Kuril Islands in the past 24 hours.

According to Russia’s Far Eastern regional emergencies center, a 4.3-magnitude tremor occurred on Saturday in the Pacific Ocean, 81 kilometers (50 miles) to the north-east from the island of Paramushir.

The tremor was followed by a 5.3-magnitude quake early on Sunday with the epicenter located 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the east of the island of Shikotan.

No casualties, destruction or tsunami threat have been reported.

The Kuril Islands form part of the ring of tectonic instability encircling the Pacific Ocean referred to as the Ring of Fire.

The chain has around 100 volcanoes, some 40 of which are active, and has been registering frequent seismic activity since November 2006, when an 8.2-magnitude quake near Simushir raised fears of an imminent tsunami.

A 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami in neigboring Japan on March 11, 2011 claimed at least 14,919 lives and triggered a number of explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.


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