Strong earthquake shakes distant island region of Alaska; no tsunami danger

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Strong earthquake shakes Alaska island region

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A powerful earthquake shook a remote Aleutian Island region of Alaska late Saturday, but there were no reports of damage or injury and no threat of a tsunami, officials said.

The 6.7-magnitude temblor struck at 9:56 p.m. and was centered in the Bering Sea about 155 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake hit about 21 miles beneath the seabed.

There was no danger of a tsunami, the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said.

The quake was felt in both Dutch Harbor and nearby Unalaska, the nearest communities of any size to the epicenter.

Police in Unalaska, situated just across a bay from Dutch Harbor, said they had no reports of damage or injury.

“About 10 residents said they did feel the quake and they could tell it was sizable,” police communications officer Megan Gosda told The Associated Press.

“We get earthquakes out here fairly often, so we noticed it was definitely one of the bigger ones, but it was no big deal,” she said.

USGS geophysicist Jessica Sigala said earlier that residents of the Dutch Harbor reported feeling a “weak shaking” from the quake.

Several aftershocks, one as strong as magnitude 4.1, struck in the region in the hours after the large quake, according to USGS.

A magnitude 6 quake is capable of causing severe damage.

The quake, though in a fairly remote area, was one of the largest in recent years in Alaska, the country’s most seismically active region.

A 5.0-magnitude temblor shook Anchorage and other communities in southcentral Alaska 10 days ago but caused no damage. In May, two quakes measuring about 6.0-magnitude rumbled under the Bering Sea off Alaska but were too far from land to be felt.

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