Aftershocks expected in Alaska

2013-09-01 08:05


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Anchorage - Dozens of noticeable aftershocks above magnitude 4.0 are expected in the remote Aleutian Island region off Alaska in the days and weeks following a major 7.0 earthquake, the Alaska state seismologist said Saturday.

A dozen measurable aftershocks have already hit the region since Friday's quake, including one reaching magnitude 6.1 in strength, said seismologist Michael West. There have been more than 30 aftershocks measuring at least magnitude 2.5.

None of the aftershocks are expected to cause a notable tsunami, since the initial quake did not cause one. And West said experts are not too worried this quake will trigger another significant quake nearby in the near future.

"This is a very common area for earthquakes," West said. Temblors above magnitude 5.0 are felt every month.

The site of Friday's quake is quite active. Significant quakes were felt just to the east and the west of Friday's earthquake in 1986, 1996 and 2003.

"This was exactly the earthquake that's supposed to happen," West said, noting that it's part of a pattern, when examined in a scientific way.

The Pacific tectonic plate is always pushing under America. It builds up stress and then earthquakes happen. Of course, West notes, he has be cautious about saying something will never happen, but he's not particularly concerned.

There have been no reports of damage or injuries from the earthquake, which was strongly felt in Atka, an Aleut community of 64 people, and the larger Aleutian town of Adak, where 320 people live.

Read more on:    us  |  earthquakes

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