MOSCOW (Reuters) - A major earthquake struck the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's Far East on Friday, damaging some buildings and slightly injuring a few people in the remote region, the Emergencies Ministry said.
The 7.7 magnitude tremor occurred at 12:25 p.m. local time (2325 GMT Thursday) roughly 7.8 miles (12.6 km) underground, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site.
The initial quake was followed by 10 aftershocks with magnitudes ranging between 4.5 and 6.1, according to the survey.
"Buildings and a runway have been damaged but there are no reports of casualties," said a regional emergencies ministry spokesman.
The epicentre was on Kamchatka's eastern coast, 70 km (40 miles) east of the settlement Tilichiki, he added. Around 12,000 people live in the area affected by the quake.
"Some people had slight injuries but have been treated on the spot. Two planes with rescue workers have been dispatched to the area and people have been moved to higher ground where a temporary camp is planned," he added.
Sparsely populated Kamchatka, which is 6,000 km (3,700 miles) from Moscow, is becoming popular with adventurous tourists, who are attracted by its volcanoes, wildlife and opportunities for extreme sports such as heli-skiing.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Geological Survey said it was largest seismic event in the area since 1900.