An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale has hit Sakhalin Island near the town of Kholmsk, no doubt causing several thousand dollars worth of improvements. More seriously, one woman was killed in the nearby town of Nevel’sk when a roof collapsed. I wrote about my visit to both of these towns last October here.
There is mild confusion in the town of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The oil companies, always with one eye on a potential lawsuit, sent all their employees home before the quake had completed a single oscillatory cycle. By contrast, the oilfield service providers refused to unlock their workers from their chains, cracked the whip harder, and laughed louder. On the way home I noticed a lot of Russians stood around outside their workplaces doing nothing and looking gormless. This marks a change from business as usual only by way of their physical location.
My mother-in-law has been watching the news from St. Petersburg, and has rung up to inquire as to our safety. So far, the wallpaper is doing a good job of holding our apartment together and continues to look strong.
I wrote about Sakhalin’s earthquakes in a less glib fashion here.