Earthquake happened in Sochi: Putin orders to check security of Sochi Olympic sites

December 26, 2012 RBTH, Interfax

An earthquake has occurred in Sochi, an Interfax correspondent reports from the city.

Dishes were clinking and furniture was shaking in a ground-floor apartment. Tenants rushed outdoors.

Sochi seismic station head Yelena Karpovich confirmed the quake to Interfax.

"The quake of approximately 5.5 points jolted Sochi at 2:44 a.m. Moscow time. The epicenter was presumably located in Abkhazia," Karpovich said.

"By tentative findings, the 5.5-point earthquake happened 152 kilometers south of Sochi (in Turkey). There is no damage or casualties," deputy head of the Krasnodar territorial emergency situations department - Sochi city emergency situations department head Nikolai Shustov told Interfax.

Menwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Emergency Situations Ministry to check the security of Sochi Olympic sites after the earthquake, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

"The president has ordered the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry to pay attention to the tremors felt in Sochi and other cities. The president said the ministry should concentrate on the unfinished sites and see that they are not damaged," he said.

Results of the check will be reported to the president.

Russian Emergency Situations Ministry spokesperson Irina Rossius said earlier that three laboratories would evaluate the stability of Sochi buildings after the quake.

"All forces of the Southern Federal District are at work; every socially significant building is being checked," she said.

"Task forces of the Krasnodar territorial emergency situations department, municipal authorities and the Interior Ministry were assigned to inspection missions. They have examined the Lazarevskoye, Khosta, Tsentralny and Alder districts," the southern regional center of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry reports.

The quake did not damage apartment blocks, bridges, motorways or power lines. According to the preliminary reports, there is no significant damage or casualties.

"Life-sustenance systems are operating normally," a ministry representative said.

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