February 26, 2012 / 6:41 AM / 8 years ago

Magnitude 6.8 quake hits Siberia near Mongolia border

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Russia’s southeastern and sparsely populated region of Tuva on Sunday, shaking residents near the Mongolian border from their sleep, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the quake was some 90 kilometers (60 miles) east of the Russian city of Kyzyl in the Tuva region of Siberia. It struck around 0617 GMT at an estimated depth of 11.7 km.

It was the second strong quake to rock the region in two months. In December, coal mining operations in Russia’s largest coal producing region, the Kuzbass, were suspended when a 6.9 magnitude quake hit near Kyzyl.

Residents in Kyzyl’s city centre gathered outside as the local emergencies ministry warned of potential aftershocks, the state RIA news agency reported.

“The dishes fell off the shelves at home, the tremors were very strong. They reminded me of the December earthquake,” one local resident told the agency.

RIA cited the regional emergencies ministry for eastern Siberia as saying no one had been injured and no damage yet reported in the quake.

Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Rosalind Russell

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