A powerful earthquake has hit Russia's Far East with slight tremors spreading westwards as far as Moscow. Marina Kolomiyets, spokeswoman for Obninsk's seismic station of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said today the epicenter was in the Sea of Okhotsk, east of the Russian coast and north of Japan. She said the quake registered 8.0 on the Richter scale.
Emergency agencies in the Far East issued a tsunami warning for Sakhalin and the Kuril islands, but lifted it soon afterwards. Kolomiyets said the earthquake originated some 370 miles underground, adding that tremors so far down have the potential to spread quite far. Tremors were felt in central Moscow, prompting some people to evacuate from buildings. Russian news agencies also cited eyewitnesses reporting strong tremors across Siberia. (A 5.7-magnitude quake also shook northeastern California last night, and aftershocks as strong as 4.9 have struck this morning, but no injuries or serious damage have been reported.)