The Ring of Fire is at it again, stirring up the waters of the Pacific.
Striking at 1:55 a.m. local time, the quake initially measuring 7.1 on the Richter Scale frightened Alaskans overnight as the U.S. Geological Survey issued a short-lived tsunami warning for coastal areas of the state.
The earthquake, later downgraded to a 6.8-magnitude temblor, struck in the Pacific Ocean, 107 miles east of Atka, Alaska, in a sparsely populated Aleutian Islands. (According to the Alaska state database, only 61 people live in Atka.) Anchorage, the state’s most populous city, was safely free of any tsunami warning, located 1031 miles northeast of where the quake struck.
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There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in the quake’s range, and Atka, despite its close range to the epicenter, saw no rough surf. “They had a little bump of a wave, but nothing of any kind of a destructive power. Just a wave,” said Jeremy Zidek, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Homeland Security. The tsunami warning was canceled an hour and a half after the quake struck.
Despite the uneventful ending, Alaska didn’t take the tsunami potential lightly. Tsunami warning sirens sounded at Dutch Harbor near Unalaska, about 245 miles from the epicenter, sending residents fleeing to higher ground in the middle of the night.
The tremor occurred seemingly along the Alaskan-Aleutian megathrust faultline, one of the Pacific Ocean’s largest faults. It was the site of the United States’ largest earthquake to date in 1964, registering a magnitude of 9.2
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