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Russia warns of tsunami after Chile quake

Moscow, February 28, 2010

Russia warned that a tsunami of up to 2 metres could hit its east coast on Sunday following a major earthquake in Chile, prompting the evacuation of residents from low-lying regions.

A wave of between 1 and 2 metres was expected to hit the Kuril Islands and the Kamchatka Peninsula, both northeast of Japan, from around 0400 GMT, the Sakhalin Tsunami Centre said.

"The wave has not hit yet, but we are monitoring the situation closely," said Tamara Moiseichik, a specialist at the centre, shortly after 0400 GMT.

Dozens of people were evacuated from coastal homes on the Kuril Islands, the state-run RIA news agency reported, quoting a local official. Most of the residents of the islands live on high land, the official said.

The remote archipelago of sparsely inhabited islands stretches northeast from Japan to the Kamchatka peninsula. Japan claims four of the islands, and the territorial dispute has soured relations with Russia since the Second World War.

A number of boats have left ports to take refuge from the wave in the open sea to the west of the islands, an official from the regional administration told RIA.

Japan evacuated thousands of people from its northern coasts over fears that 3 metre waves could hit. The tsunami was racing across the Pacific from Chile where the 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck on Saturday, killing more than 300 people. – Reuters




Tags: Russia | Japan | earthquake | tsunami | Chile | moscow |

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