Japan issues tsunami warning, 1 reported dead

/ Source: The Associated Press

A strong quake hit near Sakhalin island in Russia's Far East on Thursday, reportedly killing a Russian woman and generating small tsunami waves that hit northern Japan.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4, struck at 10:38 ET on the southern tip of Sakhalin, just north of Japan, according to Japan's Meteorological Agency.

Sergei Viktorov, spokesman for the Sakhalin branch of Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry, told Russia's NTV television network that one woman died and two others were injured when the roof of a Palace of Culture collapsed in the small port town of Nevelsk.

Viktor Beltsov, a spokesman for the emergency ministry's Moscow headquarters, told The Associated Press the quake was centered at a depth of 33 kilometers (20 miles) in the Tartar Strait, which lies between Sakhalin and the Asian mainland. He could not immediately confirm the death.

Foot-tall tsunami
In Japan, tsunami waves of about 30 centimeters (12 inches) hit the coastal city of Wakkanai on the country's northernmost island of Hokkaido shortly before 2 p.m. (0500 GMT), according to the Meteorological Agency.

A second quake of magnitude 5.9 struck the region at 2:22 p.m. (0522 GMT), the agency said, adding there was no tsunami danger.

There were no reports of injuries or damage in Japan.

Authorities lifted a tsunami warning for western Hokkaido three hours after the first quake.

Japan and Russia's Far Eastern provinces form part of the Pacific Ocean's seismically active "Ring of Fire."