Earthquake Magnitude 6.3 Hits South Central Alaska; Tremors Felt Miles Away

Earthquake Magnitude 6.3 Hits South Central Alaska; Tremors Felt Miles Away
Winter packrafting. Anchorage, Alaska Paxson Woelber / Flickr CC BY 2.0

An earthquake of magnitude 6.3 struck south central Alaska, including the city of Anchorage, on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.


There were no reported injuries as a result of the seismic event.

The earthquake, which struck about 40 miles south of Mount Redoubt at 6:30 p.m. Alaska time, originated 70 miles deep, the agent further said.

Michael West, a seismologist at the Alaska Earthquake Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said, “It’s deep — that’s important. That means the shaking was not as strong, but spread widely.”

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(Also read: Earthquake Measuring 4.0 Strikes Fremont, 14 Aftershocks Reported)

According to Reuters, the quake was powerful enough to cause tremors that could be felt as far as the port of Valdez, which is about 240 miles northeast of the epicenter. The shaking was reportedly felt in the communities of the Kenai Peninsula, such as Homer, Kenai and Nikiski.

Linda Hull – of Clam Gulch, 65 miles away from the earthquake’s epicenter – reported hearing a low rumble before she felt a slow rolling motion, which occurred for a few moments before she experienced a jolt.

“Pictures didn’t fall off the walls, but they are all crooked,” she said, as reported by Alaska Dispatch News. “Light fixtures were still swaying for about three minutes after the shock hit,” she said.

While hundreds of earthquakes have struck Cook Inlet this year (as recorded by the Alaska Earthquake Center), the latest one was the largest, West said.

“This earthquake is in no way a surprise,” he said. “It’s absolutely the kind of earthquake that we expect in this area.”

In September 2014, a 6.2 earthquake struck about 60 miles southwest of Talkeetna.

Earthquakes that occur deeper in the ground are not felt as strongly as the shallow ones, which occur at a depth of 0 to 40 mile range. CBS Local reports that earthquakes just below the surface (not more than 10 miles deep) can cause significant damage even at lower magnitudes.

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