6.24 earthquake shakes Southcentral Alaska
The Alaska Earthquake Information Center reports that an earthquake that shook Southcentral and Interior Alaska for several seconds Thursday at 9:51 a.m. had a preliminary magnitude of 6.24, not 6.1 as originally reported.
The National Weather Service said the temblor was located 60 miles southwest of Talkeetna at a depth of 98 kilometers; according to the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center, a tsunami is not expected.
Seismologist Natalia Ruppert at the Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the quake was caused by the Pacific plate diving under the North American plate; its depth, she said, will have minimized its impact.
“This was quite deep, so I wouldn’t expect any serious damage,” Ruppert said. “Deep earthquakes normally don’t produce as many aftershocks as shallow earthquakes, so there will be some aftershocks, but I don’t expect there to be too many.”
Ruppert said the quake was felt in Fairbanks, where her office is located, and as far south as Kodiak, Valdez and Seward.
In South Anchorage, resident Connie Beemer said she and some of her neighbors were frightened out of their houses.
“I grabbed my 5 month old daughter and ran outside without shoes,” Beemer said. “There were a handful of other neighbors who also chose to rather risk the sky falling than our houses.”
The quake interrupted a press conference in Midtown Anchorage for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, who had to briefly evacuate the training center where the event was being held.
“Welcome to Alaska,” he joked to the officials affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of a Commerce who were in the state to deliver the group’s endorsement — one that the chamber’s political director, Rob Engstrom, joked was “earth-shaking.”
– Developing story
Related stories from around the North:
United States: National Science Foundation to deploy seismic sensors in Alaska, Alaska Public Radio Network