May 24, 2013 – KAMCHATKA – A magnitude 8.3 earthquake struck off Russia’s eastern coast on Friday, briefly prompting a tsunami scare but causing no casualties or substantial damage, Russian emergency authorities said. The epicenter of the quake was located at a depth of 385 miles in the Sea of Okhotsk, 244 miles west of the nearest city, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake was felt in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the main city on the Kamchatka peninsula and home to a nuclear submarine base, and on Sakhalin Island, where Russia’s largest liquefied natural gas project is located. The earthquake struck 608 km (377 miles) below the ocean- diminishing any tsunami risks. Regional emergency authorities issued a tsunami warning for Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands, advising residents of dangerous areas to seek high ground, but lifted the warning several minutes later. Residents of northern Japan felt the quake but there was no tsunami warning from Japan’s meteorological agency. It’s the second major earthquake to strike the planet in 24 hours. A 7.4 earthquake struck the region of Tonga, in the South Pacific, hours earlier. –Reuters
Pacific Plate turbulence increases: At 103 million square kilometers, the Pacific plate is the largest of the tectonic plates and consequently the most violent. Geological forces are tearing at the integrity and stability of this large lithospheric cross-section of the planet. As I reported several days ago, seismic tension was mounting along the Pacific tectonic plate. The cascading series of earthquakes over the last 24 hours are yet one more indication that dynamic geological change is accelerating within the interior of the planet. These processes of change will have profound implications for the entire Ring of Fire and all subduction zones located within this region.