Wed, 27 May 2020

A powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the Kurile Islands on March 24, prompting concern about a tsunami on the west coast of the United States and Canada and as far away as Hawaii.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 10:49 p.m. 219 kilometers south-southeast of Severo on the Kurile chain northeast of Japan.

The epicenter was 56 kilometers deep, the Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially said the earthquake had the potential to generate a destructive tsunami but later said there was no danger for the U.S. West Coast, Alaska, or British Columbia.

The center noted that the potential hazard may vary by geography and other local features.

A tsunami watch was issued for Hawaii but called off a short time later.

The four southernmost islands of the Kurile chain have been disputed between Moscow and Tokyo since the end of World War II.

The Kuriles are known as the Northern Territories in Japan.

Lingering tensions over the islands have prevented Japan and Russia from signing a peace treaty to formally end the war.

With reporting by AFP and AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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