A 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the sparsely populated Kuril Islands (claimed both by Japan and Russia), earlier today. However, this massive undersea earthquake did not generate any Tsunamis, as expected. The Japanese meteorological agency had earlier asked the coastal residents of the islands Hokkaido and Honshu, to move to safer grounds to escape a possible Tsunami, but the tsunami waves that hit the islands did not measure more than 16 inches and rapidly diminished in size. Nevertheless, the Japanese meteorological agency said that it would wait for few more hours before withdrawing the Tsunami warning.
Japanese authorities told that the earthquake stuck near the uninhabited islands at the centre of the Kuril chains. Residents of Hokkaido reported that they did not feel the real impact of this massive earthquake, but the authorities in the area are urging the people to evacuate, fearing aftershocks and tsunamis. Tsunami alerts have been issued to the coastal areas of Alaska and Hawaii, following this earthquake.
Kuril Islands are rich in natural resources like marine life and seaweeds, but are sparsely populated, with a recent estimate suggesting that no more that 10,000 people live in these islands. The islands form a volcanic island arc, as oceanic tectonic plate subducts under another, producing magma. The islands are home to over 100 volcanoes, of which more than 35 are active. Frequent earthquakes occur in this region, since the islands are actually summits of stratovolcanoes that rise from the seabed.Â Â