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(Reuters) - A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck in a remote region south of the Kuril islands off eastern Russia on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

There were no immediate tsunami warnings issued. The quake struck 177 km (109 miles) south of Severo-Kuril'sk at a depth of 33 km (20 miles), the USGS said. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The earthquake was later downgraded to a magnitude 6.3.

(Reporting by Paul Tait; editing by Richard Pullin)

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Reuters