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Very strong M7.5 earthquake hits off the coast of southern Kamchatka, Russia


A very strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.5 hit off the coast of southern Kamchatka, Russia at 02:49 UTC on March 25, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 56.7 km (35 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.6 at a depth of 60 km (37 miles). FRC GS RAS is reporting Ms7.5 (mb7.2) at a depth of 60 km.

The epicenter was located 218 km (136 miles) SSE of Severo-Kuril'sk and 441 km (274 miles) S of Vilyuchinsk, Russia.

There are about 170 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

1 000 people are estimated to have felt moderate shaking and 154 000 light.

Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 1 000 km (620 miles) of the earthquake epicenter, NWS PTWC said in an initial warning message issued at 02:57 UTC.

Sea level readings from the nearest two deep-ocean dart gauges confirm that only very small tsunami waves were generated by this earthquake and there is no further threat, PTWC said 03:49 UTC (TM#3). "Based on all available data, the tsunami threat from this earthquake has not passed."

Image credit: Google, TW/SAM

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 tsunamis that might have contributed to losses.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM


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