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Bloomberg: Two Earthquakes Strike Near Sakhalin, Eastern Russia (Update1)

By Aaron Sheldrick

Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) — Two earthquakes, one of magnitude 6.2, struck near Sakhalin Island in eastern Russia today, the U.S. Geological Survey said. One person was killed and Japan’s government said a small tsunami hit the island of Hokkaido.

The first, stronger quake struck 81 kilometers (50 miles) west of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on Sakhalin at 1:37 p.m. local time and 205 kilometers north of Wakkanai in Hokkaido, the USGS said on its Web site. The quake’s depth was 5 kilometers. The second quake, of magnitude 6.1, occurred at 4:22 p.m. eastern Russian time, in the same area with a depth of 21 kilometers.

One person died and two were injured in the south of Sakhalin, Russia’s state-run Ria Novosti news service said.

In Japan, two tsunami waves hit northwestern Hokkaido, one 20 centimeters (8 inches) high and one 10 centimeters, national broadcaster NHK Television said. There were no reports of injuries or damage. NHK said the magnitude of the first quake was 6.4 and the second 5.9.

The government’s tsunami alert was lifted at about 2:30 p.m. Japan time.

A 4.9 magnitude tremor was also recorded in the area, the USGS said in an earlier e-mail.

Sakhalin Island lies in a zone where the Eurasian and Pacific plates meet. These tectonic plates constantly shift, sometimes causing earthquakes, some of them resulting in tsunamis. Quakes of magnitude 5 or more can cause considerable damage depending on their depth.

To contact the reporter for this story: Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo at [email protected] .

Last Updated: August 2, 2007 02:14 EDT

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