Powerful earthquakes south of the Aleutians; no tsunami alert

Friday, October 8, 2010

Powerful quakes in Aleutians; no tsunami alert

PALMER, Alaska — A magnitude 6.4 earthquake followed by a series of strong aftershocks struck a remote area of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, but there were no immediate reports of injury or damage, officials said.

Geophysicist Guy Urban at the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer says that while the quakes might have been felt Thursday night in the small island community of Adak, the center has heard no reports of damage. No tsunami warning was issued.

An unrelated earthquake with a 4.5 magnitude occurred at 9 a.m. Friday morning in the Kodiak Island region about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage. The quake was nearly 1,000 miles from the other earthquakes, according to state seismologist Roger Hansen, director of the Alaska Earthquake Information Center. It was felt in Anchorage, Kodiak and Homer, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The U.S. Geologic Survey says the first Aleutians quake was recorded at 6:26 p.m. Thursday and was centered in the sea about 60 miles southeast of Adak and about 1,180 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Over the next hour, quakes struck with magnitudes of 6.1, 5.3 and 4.6. All were centered in the same area as the larger quake.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Sean Terry said state emergency officials have not reported any problems on Adak related to the quakes.

The sparsely populated region is frequently hit by large quakes, which often go almost unnoticed by villagers on remote islands.

In July, a magnitude-6.7 quake struck in the area but caused no problems. It was followed by as many as two dozen strong aftershocks.

Two quakes measuring about 6.0-magnitude rumbled under the Bering Sea off Alaska in May but were too far from land to be felt.

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