A Magnitude 7.5 earthquake was detected late Wednesday afternoon local time off the coast of Russia's far-eastern Kuril Islands.
The tremor struck at a depth of 56.6 km, some 219 km away from the town of Severo-Kuril'sk, according to the U.S. Geological Service, which initially rated the quake at Magnitude 7.8 before revising it down slightly.
There are so far no reports of injuries or damage in the Russian far east, though the Straits Times reports Russian emergency services said a small tsunami of 50 cm was detected, and that people in the warning zone would be asked to shelter in place until further reassessment.
Neither Canada nor Japan issued tsunami warnings, and Emergency Info BC said there was no threat. A tsunami watch issued for Hawaii was soon cancelled, though the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre and the Japan Meteorological Agency said there may be some minor, non-damaging tidal changes to those countries.
The quake struck along the northern edge of the volcanically and seismologically active Pacific 'ring of fire.' That part of northeastern Asia is sparsely populated compared to the rest of the continent, with around 19,000 people living in the Kuril Islands, and 300,000 in the Kamchatka Peninsula. The nearby island of Hokkaido, with 5 million inhabitants, is the least populous of Japan's four major islands.