PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, August 17 (RIA Novosti, Oksana Guseva) - The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry is deploying additional units and equipment as a preventive measure against a powerful earthquake expected on Kamchatka, a peninsula in the northeast of Russia, a senior ministry official said Wednesday.
Lieutenant General Viktor Kapkanshchikov, head of the ministry's regional center, said 30 rescue workers had been temporarily transferred here until December during the heightened earthquake alert, in the wake of seismologists' warning that a magnitude 7.2 quake could rock the region between now and December.
According to the official, additional equipment, instruments and medical supplies will be delivered at the end of August and a mobile hospital from the Rescue Center will be airlifted in early September.
Regional ministry branches are ready to deal with a possible emergency, Kapkanshchikov said. The employees are taking preventive measures to ensure fewer losses and less damage if an earthquake is to strike the region.
Exercises to check the readiness of all Emergency Situations Ministry units are scheduled for September 7-9 on Kamchatka and will be supervised by minister Sergei Shoigu.
A report from the International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics predicted the region, including Kamchatka and the Kurile Islands, has a 70% chance of being hit by a quake until December 2005.