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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

5.9-magnitude earthquake rattles parts of Alaska

The US Geological Survey said a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Alaska on Tuesday afternoon, causing moderate tremors in Anchorage.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries near the epicenter of the quake in Port Ellsworth, a remote area with fewer than 200 residents about 135 miles southwest of Anchorage, said Michelle Torres, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Community.

Still, residents in the quake area and in Anchorage felt some strong aftershocks, said Jan Pursley, a geophysicist at the USGS.

USGS geophysicist Jonathan Tytel said there would probably be no tsunami warning. He said the quake, which occurred around 2 p.m., was 94 miles below Earth’s surface, too deep to generate a powerful tsunami.

There were no reports of aftershocks as of Tuesday afternoon, Titel said, adding that the likelihood of stronger aftershocks later in the evening was “small, but not improbable.”

“It’s likely rare enough that I wouldn’t worry,” he said.

At least 134 people in the state reported tremors to the USGS.

But Alaskans are used to it because “there are earthquakes out there all the time,” said Mr. Titel.

The Alaska Earthquake Center reported more than 49,000 seismic events in the state and surrounding areas in 2020. The center also said that Alaska had recorded the strongest and third most powerful earthquakes worldwide last year.

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In July 2021, an 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck the southern coast of the state and a tsunami warning was issued. It was the largest earthquake in the United States in 50 years. seismologists saidBut there was no major loss to the state.

Last December, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of a remote region of southern Alaska, but it did not give a tsunami warning that could threaten the sparsely populated string of islands in the region.

In 1964, Alaska was not as lucky. The second most powerful earthquake in world history, of magnitude 9.2, violently shook the state, killing more than 130 people and causing a massive tsunami.

That quake occurred about 15 miles below Earth’s surface and its epicenter was about 90 miles east of Anchorage, Mr Titel said, with distances making it far more powerful than Tuesday’s quake.

“Within the next week,” he said, “the probability of magnitude 6 or greater is about 5 percent.”

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