Major earthquake strikes Russia's Koryak region

A major earthquake hit a distant, sparsely populated region of Russia's Far East early Friday, causing unknown damage and possible casualties, an emergency official said. The US Geologic Survey and Japan's Meteorological Agency estimated the temblor to be about 7.7-magnitude. The quake hit around 3:45 a.m. in Koryak region, nearly 7,000 kilometers east of Moscow and some 1,000 kilometers north of the largest city in the area Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, said Oleg Kotosanov, a duty officer with the regional emergency situations ministry. Kotosanov told The Associated Press by telephone that there were reports of damage in some villages of the Pacific region, and that emergency officials were flying by helicopter to several locations. Federal emergency officials in Moscow said they had no information about the quake.