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Georgians panicky, expect major earthquake on Black Sea coast

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Dec. 26, 2012, 4:48 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

The quake rumors started spreading after tremors early on Wednesday morning damaged dozens of homes on the Black Sea coast.
© rus.ghn.ge

Thousands of people have remained outdoors in Batumi, Poti, Kobuleti and Kutaisi for several hours in fear of a devastating earthquake.

The quake rumors started spreading after tremors early on Wednesday morning damaged dozens of homes on the Black Sea coast, according to municipal authorities.

Georgian television reported the evacuation of hospital patients in Batumi. Doctors said the patients insisted on the evacuation.

Fishermen said that fish had left the coastal waters, which might be an omen of a powerful earthquake, Batumi residents told reporters.

The Georgian National Seismology Center told Interfax it was impossible to forecast an earthquake and the panic was totally groundless. The center said that quakes happened in the Black Sea along the Georgian coast in the previous century, although that area was subject to less seismic activity than the Caucasian Ridge.

Dozens of tremors have happened in the sea at the depth of ten kilometers, 40 kilometers away from Anaklia, since December 23. The most powerful of them were the earthquakes on December 23 (5.7 points) and last night (5 and 5.5 points).

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