ANCHORAGE, Alaska — a powerful earthquake off the southern coast of Alaska jolted some coastal communities late Tuesday, and some residents scrambled over fears of a tsunami for higher ground. Due to it being a sparsely populated area, as of yet, there have been no reports of damage. As the earthquake created a wave of less than 1 foot off the Alaskan peninsula, the tsunami warnin+g was called off. The earthquake struck at 10:12 p.m. on Tuesday Local time, based in waters 65 miles southeast of Perryville, Alaska at 17 miles deep.
Damage caused by the earthquake
Because of its size, neighboring communities along the Alaska Peninsula did not experience shaking that would usually be associated with the magnitude of a quake, but that doesn’t mean that they slept through it: residents of small towns within a hundred miles of the quake reported very strong shaking and were also felt more than 500 miles away in the Anchorage area.
The tsunami alert had people on the coast evacuating to higher ground. There have been many social media posts depicting people of the affected towns evacuating with the tsunami sirens wailing in the background.
The reaction of the locals
The local high school opened its doors for evacuees on Kodiak Island, as did the nearby Catholic school, reports the Anchorage Daily News. Although, tsunami alerts area pretty common thing in the area and the residents are used to it.
This may be the most serious earthquake so far this year. The article quoted area residents as saying bed and curtains were flying, and during the earthquake, they felt dizzy.
A warning said the level of tsunami danger is also being assessed for other US and Canadian Pacific coastlines in North America, according to the study. The US Tsunami Warning system has said that “hazardous waves” are likely along coasts within 300 kilometers of the epicenter, according to a story in Express.co.uk.
However, the tsunami alarms and alerts were called off by the officials after a 25-centimeter wave was reported in the Sand Point region. Immediately following the earthquake, more than a dozen aftershocks of magnitude 4.0 or greater were recorded.
Earthquakes and Alaska
The Alaska-Aleutian Trench in 1964 had recorded an earthquake of magnitude 9.2. That remains the second strongest ever recorded earthquake. The aftermath of it was terrifying killing almost 131 people. Alaska is the state with the most seismic activity. As of January 1, nearly 25,000 earthquakes have been reported according to the center in Alaska.
Earthquakes throughout the maximum of Alaska are common. On average, someplace in or offshore Alaska each 1 to two years there may be a significant earthquake of magnitude 7 or more and round every thirteen years, there may be an earthquake of magnitude eight or extra. Such quakes arise due to stresses precipitated through tectonic plate motions that make up the outer shell of the Earth. In this area, under the North American Plate, the Pacific Plate movements regularly northward at a range of approximately 2 inches and descends, or creates “sub ducts.”
An irregularity on the pinnacle of the Pacific Plate, referred to as the Yakutat Block (YAK), impedes the Pacific Plate’s smooth subduction and has induced the North American Plate’s wedge-fashioned portion, the Wrangell Subplate, to interrupt free movement and rotate counterclockwise. The western Alaska Range, which contains Mount McKinley, North America’s highest point, is a compression zone between the North American Plate and the Wrangell Subplate. The Denali and Totschunda faults shape the Wrangell Sub plate’s northeast margin.
How to deal with an Earthquake
- Take some time to speak with the family about evacuation. Sketch your home floor plan; walk through every room and share specifics of the evacuation.
- Plan a second escape way for any room or area. Should special equipment be needed, label where it is located?
- Mark where your emergency food, water, fire extinguishers, first aid kits are stored.
- Place an ABC style fire extinguisher in an easily available position.
- Label the position of the utility switches or valves and learn how to shut off your power, water, and electricity supply.
- Indicate the location of the outdoor meeting place for your family in an emergency.
- Keep multiple flashlights in locations around the house that are easily accessible.
- Hold a wrench or turn-off device closer to the gas meter in a waterproof cover.
- Know whether you are living, working, or playing in a tsunami danger zone.
- Next to beds hold a lantern, slippers, and gloves.
- Hold your gas tank half full, at least.
- Determine safe spaces in any room in your house, away from walls. Choose spots where it is unlikely to crash upon you.
- Prepare a kit for a catastrophe. The kit should consist of canned food, water, first aid kit, radio, and flashlights.
Unlike most natural disasters, earthquakes can occur at any time without warning so it is better to be well prepared for whenever there is an emergency with the aforementioned safety tips.