16 Jan 2009

7.3 quake off far eastern Russia

10:01 am on 16 January 2009

An earthquake of 7.3 magnitude has occurred in the ocean off the Kuril Islands in far eastern Russia.

The US Geological Survey said on Thursday the epicenter was 35km deep and 428km south of Severo-Kuril'sk in the Kuril Islands, which also lie northeast of Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

The agency said earlier the quake was 7.7 magnitude and then 7.5 magnitude, but later revised that downwards.

Russia earlier issued a tsunami warning in the far eastern coastal city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, which was later withdrawn.

Civil Defence says there is no tsunami risk to New Zealand. It says the earthquake ocurred at 6.50am on Friday (NZT).