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Quake strikes off Kuril Islands, no tsunami warning

A statue of Soviet State founder Vladimir Lenin stands in front of an Orthodox Church in the settlement of Yuzhny Kurilsk, the administrative capital of Russia's Far Eastern Kuril Islands, November 15, 2005. REUTERS/Yuri Maltsev

MOSCOW (Reuters) - An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.O on the Richter scale struck off Russia’s Pacific coast on Tuesday about 182 miles northeast off Kurilsk in the Kuril Islands, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake, which struck at 12:24 a.m. EDT, was at a depth of 24.3 miles, USGS said.

There was no immediate tsunami warning from the quake, the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center website said.

Russia’s Emergency Services Ministry said the impact on land had been minimal.

“There were no casualties or damage caused. There is no tsunami warning,” a ministry spokeswoman said. “In the nearest towns they felt a tremor of magnitude 3-4.”

In the largest nearby city of Yuzhno-Kurilsk, on one of the southern Kuril islands, resident Gennady Berezyuk said he did not even feel the earthquake.

“We are used to tremors here, but I didn’t feel the quake or any aftershocks,” he told Reuters by telephone.

The islands lie north of Hokkaido, Japan and south of Kamchatka, Russia. Seismic activity in the region is common.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency Web site said only a minor tremor was recorded in the northeast of Hokkaido, and no risk was seen of a tsunami in Japan.

Reporting by Washington, Singapore world desks and Ludmila Danilova