By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
MOSCOW/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Russian rescue services began a search operation for possible destruction or casualties after a magnitude 8.4 earthquake hit the Lake Baikal area near Russia’s Irkutsk city officials said.
Wednesday’s quake happened in and around the ancient and massive lake in the mountainous Russian region of Siberia, north of the Mongolian border, the Emergency Ministry confirmed Wednesday.
There were no immediate reports of widespread destruction or casualties.
In his younger years, Russian leader Vladimir Putin dived into the depths of Lake Baikal aboard a mini-submersible in a stunt that added a new dimension to his carefully cultivated macho image.
Before descending 1,400 meters (4,593 feet) beneath the surface of the world’s deepest lake, the judo black belt had already conquered the skies in a fighter aircraft and shot a Siberian tiger in the wild.
Wednesday’s quake came at a sensitive moment for Russia, which wants to maintain its position as one of the world’s leading energy providers despite its invasion of Ukraine.
Hidden in the largely unexplored floor of the Lake Baikal lake are large deposits of clathrate hydrate, crystals packed with one of Russia’s most lucrative exports: natural gas.
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