Strong M6.9 earthquake hits Kuril Islands at intermediate depth
A strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.9 hit Kuril Islands at 10:33 UTC on February 13, 2020, at a depth of 142.6 km (88.6 miles). The EMSC is reporting M6.9 at a depth of 150 km (93 miles).
The epicenter was located 93 km (58 miles) ENE of Kuril'sk, Russia.
There are about 3 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).
2 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking, 4 000 moderate and 37 000 light.
The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.
Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and unreinforced brick with mud construction.
Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.
Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking
Selected cities exposed
Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM
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This major earthquake that hits Kuril Islands is not far from Hokkaido, where Tomari Nuclear Power Plant is located. Japan’s northern coast is still at big risk for a massive earthquake. However, as I have stated repeatedly, 2020 will be the year that Japan will face the start of the geological upheaval. Thus, it is very wise that the Japanese government should reconsider its stance on nuclear power plants