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Reuters: Russian quake leaves 2,000 homeless

August 3, 2007 – 6:54PM

More than 2,000 people have been left homeless following an earthquake on Russia’s Far Eastern island of Sakhalin, the local governor says.

The series of three tremors on Thursday left two dead and at least eight people injured. One of the quakes registered a magnitude of 6.4 on the Richter scale.

Inspectors found that at least 11 apartment buildings containing 410 homes were fully destroyed, said Sakhalin region’s governor Ivan Malakhov.

He said another 20 apartment buildings containing 710 homes needed major renovations.

“It is either impossible or dangerous to live there before they are repaired,” the governor was quoted by Interfax as telling journalists in Neveslk, the town badly hit by the quakes.

Railway cars would accommodate 300 people from the island’s main town of Yuzno-Sakhalinsk, he said.

Four flights containing tents, radiators, food and blankets are being dispatched to the island, the Russian Emergencies Situations Ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov told Interfax.

Sakhalin Energy said its operations were not affected by the quake.

Sakhalin Energy, which is made up of Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, operates the Sakhalin-2 project.

Exxon Mobil Corp’s Sakhalin-1 oil and gas production facility suffered no damage, the company stated.

In 1995, the island was hit by Russia’s worst recorded earthquake, which killed 1,989 people from the town Neftegorsk.

© 2007 Reuters

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