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4.3-magnitude earthquake destroys 500 homes in Russia

June 19, 2013 at 8:37 AM

BACHATSKY, Russia, June 19 (UPI) -- A 4.3-magnitude earthquake damaged more than 500 houses and brought coal mining to a standstill in Russia's Kemerovo Region Wednesday, officials said.

The earthquake struck at 3 a.m. local time at a depth of about 6 miles, RIA Novosti reported. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude of the quake was closer to 5.3.

"The nature of the tremors is being clarified, the epicenter is yet unknown," a local emergencies spokesman said.

Regional Gov. Aman Tuleyev ordered all coal production in the region brought to a temporary stop as a safety precaution.

The earthquake destroyed more than 500 houses in the village of Bachatsky, RIA Novosti reported.

"Some houses are heavily damaged. Some suffered less damage. The most affected are the houses where the ceilings and walls have collapsed," a local official said.

There were no reports of casualties.

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