Almost a month into 2016, Alaska’s earthquake was felt this morning even in Anchorage, although the center of the magnitude 6.8 earthquake was located about 162 miles southwest of Anchorage according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS initially measured the quake as magnitude 6.4, upgraded it to magnitude 7.1, and then downgraded it to magnitude 6.8 by the end. The large quake was enough to jolt both the nerves of Alaskans and any items located on shelves. Around two hours later, the Cook Inlet was hit was a magnitude 4.3 aftershock.
THIS MORNING: Magnitude 6.8 earthquake hits Alaska. Felt in Anchorage, causing power outages.https://t.co/mwdi8juQnS pic.twitter.com/fXbGtvKAK4
— Rachelle Spence (@RachelleWSPA) January 24, 2016
Anchorage resident Ron Barta told the Associated Press how his home started shaking and pictures on the wall began moving.
“I was sitting here with the dogs getting ready to go to bed about 1:34 local time… I felt a little rumble that didn’t quit for about 30 to 45 seconds. It felt like the house moved,” said Barta.
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Fortunately, damage reports related to Alaska’s earthquake have been fairly limited. The Alaska Department of Transportation reported that there was road damage near the community of Kasilof, on the Kenai Peninsula. Fire departments received many phone calls about the earthquake, and the Kenai Fire Department responded to reports of a gas leak and explosion at a home. Some communities experienced power outages and gas lines were cut by the shaking ground. On Twitter, KTTU reported that “20-plus Kenai homes [were] evacuated due to [the] gas leak following” the magnitude 6.8 earthquake.
When an earthquake occurs near an open body of water a tsunami can be generated, although the waves will not necessarily be large all the time. Since the center of the Alaskan earthquake was not out in the ocean, there should not be any danger of a tsunami causing devastation along the southern coast line.
Tsunami Info Stmt 2: M7.1 050Mi E Iliamna, Alaska 0130AKST Jan 24: Tsunami NOT expected; CA,OR,WA,BC,and AK #NTWC
— NWS Tsunami Alerts (@NWS_NTWC) January 24, 2016
— Alaska Dispatch News (@adndotcom) January 24, 2016
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) January 24, 2016
Many are going to social media to report how Alaska’s earthquake felt for them using the #akquake hashtag, but Vincent Nusunginya, director of audience at the Peninsula Clarion newspaper, told AP that the earthquake did not feel “normal” to him.
“It started out as a shaking and it seemed very much like a normal earthquake. But then it started to feel like a normal swaying, like a very smooth side-to-side swaying,” said Nusunginya. “It was unsettling. Some things got knocked over, but there was no damage.”
Associated Press reporter Mark Thiessen recalls being asleep when the quake struck his home.
“I remember the bed swaying back and forth, and loud noises, enough to wake me up even after taking sleeping pills,” said Thiessen. “My husband came into the bedroom forcefully saying, ‘Get up! Get up!’ But I was already awake, trying to figure out what was happening.”
Although Alaska’s earthquake took place in the middle of the night Alaskan time, many residents were alert enough to record multiple videos showing what the quake looked like from their perspective.
[Image via Alaska Earthquake Center]