Source AP ©

Tent camps set up for 2,000 left homeless by quake near Sakhalin Island

About 2,000 people in a Russian fishing town have moved into temporary tent camps after a powerful quake hit near Sakhalin Island, killing two people, injuring 12 and leaving apartment buildings in ruins, officials said Friday.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4, struck Thursday on the southern tip of Sakhalin, just north of Japan, according to Japan's Meteorological Agency. It generated small tsunami waves in northern Japan. A second quake of magnitude 5.9 struck a few hours later.

The worst hit was the port town of Nevelsk, home to 17,300 people. One woman died when the roof of the town's Palace of Culture collapsed. A man there died of a heart attack. Twelve people remained hospitalized Friday, Sakhalin regional emergency agency spokeswoman Olga Shekhovtseva said.

Tent camps were set up for about 2,000 people forced to move out of 31 apartment buildings that were badly damaged, some of them beyond repair, the spokeswoman said. About 200 children were sent away to summer camps.

Two cargo planes were to arrive Friday with more tents, blankets, food and radiators, Shekhovtseva said. Railway cars capable of accommodating 300 people also were on their way.

The spokeswoman said there was no panic in the town, where tremors are not unusual.

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

No injuries or damage from Thursday's quakes were reported in Japan.

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