Strong earthquake strikes Russia’s Far East near border with China

October 14th, 2011 - 10:04 pm ICT by BNO News  

SKOVORODINO, RUSSIA (BNO NEWS) — A strong earthquake struck Russia’s Far East near the border with northeast China on late Friday afternoon, seismologists and officials said, causing some damage but no casualties.

The 6.1-magnitude earthquake at 4.10 p.m. local time (0610 GMT) was centered about 17 kilometers (10 miles) northwest of Skovorodino, a town in Amur Oblast. It struck about 15.3 kilometers (9.5 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The USGS estimated that some 11,000 people near the epicenter, which was located some 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the border with China’s Heilongjiang Province, may have felt strong shaking which could potentially result in light to moderate damage. More than 82,000 others may have felt light to moderate shaking.

The China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) measured the strength of the earthquake at 6.6 on the Richter scale, larger than the USGS’ estimate which used the moment magnitude scale (MMS).

As a result of the earthquake, Transneft said it temporarily halted oil shipments to China on the ESPO line as a precaution. In Skovorodino, the wall of a boiler house collapsed but operations at the boiler house were not affected.

Officials also suspended rail traffic on the Bamovskaya-Kovali line for about an hour to carry out damage assessments, causing one train to be delayed. Some masts which carry overhead lines were damaged, but both the track and the lines itself were not damaged.

In China, the country’s Earthquake Administration (CEA) said strong shaking could be felt in some areas near the border, causing cracks in the walls of a small number of homes and people to flee the buildings they were in. There were no reports of casualties in either Russia or China and all damage was considered to be minor.

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