Wednesday, Oct 16 2019
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Siberia talking... to the world'
The Siberian Times

Earthquake of 7 on Richter scale in Siberia was partly 'man-made', say top Russian scientists

By The Siberian Times reporter
20 June 2013

The quake could be a world record for a tremor caused with involvement by humans, it is claimed.

Reports said more than 500 houses were destroyed in the village of Bachatsky, home to 16,000.  Picture: Mega Express Belovo

The earthquake at 6am local time shook a large area of southwestern Siberia early on Wednesday morning, destroying homes and halting coal mining in Kuzbass. Initially, it was claimed to measure 5.3 but later scientists said it was 7 on the Richter scale at its epicentre in Kemerovo. The epicentre was located 3 km west off the township of Starobochaty, at a depth of 9.8 km.

Scientists claimed that the deep mines of Kuzbass may have contributed to the earthquake, yet may also have acted to lower its scale. Reports said more than 500 houses were destroyed in the village of Bachatsky, home to 16,000. In February a 4.4 quake was felt in the same village. 

'Some houses are heavily damaged, some suffered less damage.

The most affected are the houses where the ceilings and walls have collapsed,' said a local administration official. 

Earthquake in Siberia Kemerovo region June 2013

Earthquake in Siberia Kemerovo region June 2013


Earthquake in Siberia Kemerovo region June 2013


Earthquake in Siberia Kemerovo region June 2013

Today's earthquake was the strongest in the region within the last 100 years and if its anthropologic nature is proved, it will be the strongest in the world of its kind. Pictures: Mega Express Belovo

The tremor was felt over a wide area but was centred some 21km from Belovo in Kemerovo region. The strongest earth movements were in the area of Belovo and Guryevo district, but it was also felt in the cities of Kemerovo, Novokuznetsk, Prokopyevsk, Leninsk-Kuznetskiy, Novosibirsk and Tomsk, and in the mountainous Altai Republic. 

Underground work at many mines was halted or delayed pending safety checks. Scientists soon came up with intriguing explanations about this earthquake. 

Viktor Seleznev, director of Geo-physical service of the Siberian branch of Russian Academy of Science, said: 'The earthquake was provoked by man but I put positive meaning here. If there is tension in the Earth crust, the quake will happen sooner or later. 

'And if we blow up or are doing something else on this territory, the event takes place earlier and magnitude is lower. If there were no coal mines, the earthquake would happen later but it would be much stronger'.

Seleznev stressed that this earthquake was the strongest in the region within the last 100 years and if its anthropologic nature is proved, it will be the strongest in the world of its kind.

Another expert Alexander Zaviyalov said earthquakes in Kuzbass will happen while coal mining goes on. 

'It impacts on tension in the Earth's crust of the upper level. It may happen that in one part there will be more tension than in the other and this is where the crust starts moving, and we feel it as an earthquake.

He is head of the continental seismic activity and seismic danger forecast laboratory of the Schmidt Earth Physics Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences.

The epicentre of the latest earthquake was located 3 km west off the township of Starobochaty, at a depth of 9.8 km, said reports.

Starobachaty village Belovo district Kemerovo region

Aerial view of Starobachaty village, Belovo district, Kemerovo region. Picture: Google Maps 

About 6.10 am (3.10am Moscow time), Novosibirsk emergency service call centre started to register phone calls from people living in the city and further south in the scientific town of Akademgorodok. 

'It was the first earthquake I ever felt here in Akademgorodok,' said local resident resident Ekaterina.

Kemerovo governor Aman Tuleyev ordered all work in underground mines  to be suspended in Kuzbass, the heartland of the Russian coal industry. 

A spokesman for Russian coking coal miner Raspadskaya confirmed: 'The coal mines of Raspadskaya, like all of Kuzbass coal mines, shut down after the telegram from the Emergencies Ministry.'

However, both steelmaker Evraz and coal giant Mechel said their mining operations were going ahead normally. 

There was no initial reports on injuries from the quake. 

Resident of Novosibirsk Elena Gulyaeva posted a video to show how the 19th of June earthquake felt miles away from the epicentre: 

Comments (1)

Horrible. I hope local authorities are doing all they can to help
Maya, Beijing
21/06/2013 11:24
0
0
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR70.85USD64.25GBP81.34Other...