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ITAR-TASS: Sakhalin Energy transfers $100,000 to quake-stricken Nevelsk

22.08.2007, 17.03
YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, August 22 (Itar-Tass) – The oil company Sakhalin Energy has transferred 100,000 US dollars for the provision of aid to the population affected by a strong earthquake in the town of Nevelsk on Russia’s Sakhalin Island.

Moreover, the company personnel have raised 365,000 roubles in personal donations to the Nevelsk residents. This money will most likely be spent on the purchasing of new medical equipment for the central hospital of the Nevelsk district, Sakhalin Energy Chief Executive Officer Ian Craig said at a meeting with Sakhalin region governor Alexander Khoroshavin on Wednesday.

Sakhalin Energy is recovering oil on the Sakhalin shelf and it has several helicopters at its disposal. One of them has been provided for efforts aimed at the liquidation of the Nevelsk district earthquake aftermath. The oil company has also supplied to Nevelsk fifteen 20- and 40-feet containers.

Craig told Khoroshavin that the company is ready in two days at the latest to provide information to the regional administration about possible accommodation of 500 Nevelsk residents in holiday camps that are currently being used in Sakhalin

The Sakhalin region governor thanked Craig for assistance provided by Sakhalin Energy to the residents of Nevelsk and expressed hope that the company operator of a major oil project in the world will also in the future cooperate with the power bodies in settling emerging social issues.

Meanwhile, another house beyond repair was pulled down in Nevelsk on Wednesday. A total of 221 residential houses and 29 social-culture facilities are to be pulled down in the town.

The Sakhalin region authorities have guarantees new housing for people who lost homes in emergency situations and natural calamities.

New housing will be provided to residents of Nevelsk who were left without shelter after a devastating earthquake on August 2. The housing norm will be at least 18 square metres per one person if the family comprises three members. A single citizen will be given 33 square metres of total housing area and a two-member family will be provided with 42 metres of housing. The same norm of dwelling space will be provided to all residents of the Sakhalin Island and Kuriles if they lose their homes in an earthquake or other natural calamities.

Governor Alexander Khoroshavin signed the corresponding resolution. The document is based on the Russian government’s resolution of July 7, 2007 “On housing state certificates issued to Russian Federation citizens that lost dwelling in natural calamities and emergencies.”

A strong earthquake hit Nevelsk on August 2 leaving 7,500 people without shelter (the total population of the town is slightly above 16,000).

The August 2 earthquake in which Nevelsk was hit the worst had a magnitude of 6.8 points on the Richter scale. After that, 14 aftershocks were registered in the vicinity of Nevelsk; most of them had a magnitude of more than five points.

The power of the shocks reduced with distance. People in the island’s major commercial port city of Kholmsk experienced the shocks of 5.0 to 6.0 points, while the regional capital Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk had a mere 3.0 to 4.0 points, according to Sakhalin seismologists.

Two people died in the quake in Nevelsk, 12 were injured, 34 people applied for medical aid over the aggravation of cardiovascular diseases.

The earthquake inflicted irreparable damage on 221 apartment blocks and 29 other buildings, all of them will be pulled down. The pulling down of damaged buildings has been underway in the town and 12 apartment blocks and eight social and culture facilities have been pulled down by now.

Japan’s Wakkanai sent humanitarian aid to the quake-stricken Nevelsk. The cargo comprised 200 blankets, 255.8 kilogrammes of towels, 56 kilogrammes of hardtacks and 2,000 noodle packages.

According to the committee for international and interregional relations of the Sakhalin region, the humanitarian consignment reached the port of Korsakov on August 11, but was not delivered to Nevelsk in time over customs rules violation.

Japan is the first foreign country that took part in the humanitarian assistance program. Until now only different regions of Russia provided such aid. The Primorye territory administration allocated five million roubles for residents of Nevelsk.

Meanwhile, Sakhalin rescuers have taken away the property of Nevelsk residents from 23 apartment blocks, which are subject to demolition. One tent camp with 18 people is still opened in the city. As many as 838 people, including 507 children, have been evacuated from the quake-hit region since August 2. Other people, who remained homeless, were accommodated temporarily at relatives and in countryside houses. Meanwhile, 12 Nevelsk residents returned to their apartments from holiday homes.

As many as 1,595 people and 145 special vehicles have been involved in the cleanup operation after the devastating earthquake in Nevelsk.

Over 1,000 repeat earth tremors have occurred in Nevelsk since August 2 when the town was hit by a powerful earthquake measuring six-seven points on the Richer scale, the press service of the Sakhalin regional department of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry reported on Wednesday referring to new data of the Geophysical service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN). Seismic stations have managed to determine the parameters of 25 aftershocks and about 10 of them had magnitudes of over 5.0 points on the Richter scale.

The seismic activity in the Nevelsk area is now higher than the intensity of tectonic cataclysms in the area of the Simushir Island of the Kuriles chain. A total of 798 aftershocks have been registered there since November 15, 2006 after a 7.8-point earthquake.

The strong earthquake in Nevelsk was triggered by the earth crust movement in the Tatar Strait on the coast of which the town is located. The epicentre was located just four kilometres from Nevelsk. According to scientists, there was a tsunami wave up to two metres high here after the earthquake; it reached the Japanese Hokkaido Island.

After the powerful earthquake in the Simushir Island area the tsunami wave was seven metres high and this wave, but will reduced strength reached Alaska, the Hawaii and even New Zealand.

Meanwhile, three earthquakes rocked different districts of the Sakhalin region on Tuesday. There have been no casualties and damage, as well as tsunami threat, the press service of the Far Eastern regional centre of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry reported on Wednesday.

An earth tremor of a magnitude 3.3 points on the Richter scale was registered 34 kilometres north of Nevelsk. The quake force in the town was two points and in Kholmsk – three points. Since the moment of a powerful earthquake that hit the south of Sakhalin on August 2, the RAN Geophysical service has already registered 25 repeated earthquakes. Moreover, over 400 minor jolts that were not felt by people have been registered in the Nevelsk area.

Two earthquakes have also been registered on the Kuriles. The magnitude of the quake on the Paramushir Island (North Kuriles) was 4.2 points. The quake force was 4.4 points in the area of the Zeleny Island.

It is necessary to build 64,000 square metres of housing in Nevelsk in order to provide the population with apartments. All new houses will have no more than three storeys and their seismic resistance will reach nine points.
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