Russian MiniLessons: Землетрясения и российской помощи – Earthquakes and Russian Foreign Aid

Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations, is known as "МЧС" in Russia and internationally as EMERCOM. The ministry has been sent to many disasters around the world and is recognized as one of the world's best run rescue organizations.

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation.

Землетрясение is defined in Russian as подземные толчки of поверхность земли. They can be triggered by natural causes such as тектонические процессы or by man-made processes such as explosions, mining works, and others.

Physicists explain that a землетрясение is caused by сейсмические волны which are generated by a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust. Тектонические землетрясения most often зарождаются at a depth of no deeper than several dozen kilometers within зоны разлома. Here, горные породы goes through a violent process. First, there is разрыв and перемещение. This place is called очаг землетрясения.

If the землетрясение is powerful enough, it разрушает здания и сооружения . While there are about 10,000 earthquakes per year worldwide, only 100 of them are разрушительные.

Earthquakes of cила/магнитуда 7.5 баллов по шкале Рихтера  or more can cause other природное бедствие. For instance, цунами is a series of water waves caused by the перемещение большого объема водных масс, usually in an ocean.

Japan is situated in the so-called “Тихоокеанское вулканическое огненное кольцо”, where earthquakes occur frequently. The recent Tohoku earthquake which occurred on March 11, was a 9.0-magnitude undersea earthquake which triggered чрезвычайно разрушительное цунами of up to 30 m that struck Japan minutes after the quake, in some cases traveling up to 10 km (6 mi) inland.

The Japanese National Police Agency officially confirmed 11,232 убитые, 2,778 раненые, and 16,361 people пропавшие без вести. The tsunami caused значительный ущерб, and destroyed entire towns.

Russia took part in the rescue operation in Japan, sending самолет с 50 спасателями на борту и техникой . Later, another 130 Russian rescue workers were sent.

On March 16, a Russian aircraft с грузом гуманитарной помощи arrived in Japan.

Russian media additionally reported that the management of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex in Moscow пожертвовал over one million rubles to the Japanese Embassy.

About the Author

Andrei Nesterov

Andrei Nesterov has reported on political and social issues for the Russian press as well as American outlets such as Russian Life,, and Triangle Free Press. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the "real Russia" which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and went on to study TESOL and teach Russian at West Virginia University. He is currently working on an MA from St. Petersburg State in International Relations. Andrei contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS site, and is an overall linguistics and research resource. He additionally helps coordinate activities for our students in Moscow.

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Josh Wilson

Josh Wilson is the Assistant Director for The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) and Communications Director for Alinga Consulting Group. In those capacities, he has been managing publications and informative websites covering geopolitics, history, business, economy, and politics in Eurasia since 2003. He is based in Moscow, Russia. For SRAS, he also assists in program development and leads the Home and Abroad and Challenge Grant scholarship writing programs.

Program attended: All Programs

View all posts by: Josh Wilson