ST. PETERSBURG, November 19. /TASS/. The Russian polar station Bellingshausen in the Antarctic is registering tremors with a magnitude of up to 6.0, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, the country’s sole operator of Antarctic research, reported on Thursday.
"At the Bellingshausen station… tremors with a magnitude of 4.7 - 6.0, with their epicenter located at a distance of 40-50 km southeast of the station in the Bransfield Strait at depths in the earth’s crust from 1.5 to 10 km," the Institute’s press office said in a statement.
The Russian polar stations in the Antarctic are now carrying out preparatory work under the program of the 66th Russian Antarctic expedition. In particular, the Vostok station has completed the work to prepare the runway 3,700 meters long. The Progress and Mirny stations have also finished the work to put runways into operation. The Novolazarevskaya station is carrying out emergency work to clean and restore the runway after a recent blizzard. The first flight of an Il-76 plane from Cape Town is scheduled for November 19.
The scientific expedition vessel Akademik Tryoshnikov is now heading to the Antarctic. The ship departed from St. Petersburg on November 15 with the first group of researchers on its board. The group comprises 32 members of the 66th seasonal and wintering expedition. There are also 54 crewmembers, a helicopter squad of 11 people and a group of nine participants in the Belarusian Antarctic expedition aboard the vessel.
The Bellingshausen station is a Russian polar base on King George island of the South Shetland Islands established on February 22, 1968. It is Russia’s northernmost station in the Antarctic.
About 110 stations are operational in the Antarctic, including 42 year-round bases. Russia has five year-round research stations and five seasonal bases in the Antarctic. The Russian Antarctic expedition is continuously operating on the southernmost continent.