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Russia on tsunami alert, Shell Sakhalin unaffected

Russian emergency services went on high alert and evacuated a small settlement after a major earthquake struck on Wednesday in the middle of the sparsely populated Kurile Islands off its Pacific Coast.

"We are on high alert," said an official at the Emergencies Ministry on Sakhalin Island, to the west of the quake epicentre where oil multinationals are conducting oil and gas exploration projects. Russia has issued a tsunami alert, she said.

Sakhalin Energy, the operator of the Shell-led Sakhalin-2 project, said the venture was unaffected after the earthquake struck 130 km east of Simushir Island, in the centre of the Kuriles chain.

"Right now there is no impact on our activities," said Sakhalin Energy spokesman Ivan Chernyakhovskiy in Moscow. "All our facilities are designed to standards that take into account all geological hazards and are built to withstand tsunamis."

"Sakhalin is in a seismically active zone. That's been taken into account from the beginning of the project."

© Reuters

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