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7.2 Earthquake Strikes Eastern Aleutians

by Thomas Burke
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – A 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck near the Eastern Aleutian Islands prompted tsunami concerns for some of Alaska’s coastal communities, but no immediate reports of significant damage or injury.

A tsunami warning — later downgraded to an advisory before being canceled shortly before 1 a.m. on Sunday — was was in effect from 40 miles west of Homer to 80 miles northeast of Unalaska. Tsunami waves with an observed maximum height of 0.5 feet was measured at both King Cove and Sand Point at 12:18 a.m.

Initial reports from the United States Geological Survey indicate an earthquake with a 7.2 magnitude hit the island chain at 10:48 p.m. on July 15. The epicenter was located approximately 55 miles to the southwest of Sand Point in the Aleutian Islands, approximately 615 miles southwest of Anchorage. It was widely felt across the Aleutians, Alaska Peninsula and Cook Inlet, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center.

There have been an estimated eight aftershocks in the same area, the largest of which measured 5.0 in magnitude just three minutes after the initial earthquake.

Those in a tsunami zone are advised to not reoccupy hazard zones until local emergency officials indicate it is safe to do so. Small sea level changes are still possible.

Calls to the Cold Bay city offices confirmed officials of that community surveyed for damage following the event and found no significant issues or threats to residents. The integrity of docks and piers were a primary concern, but no major repairs appear to be needed. Cold Bay officials will reassess tomorrow.

Residents of the Aleutians reported strong shaking. A video taken in Cold Bay shows an occupant of a residence stabilizing a television during the shaking while the sound of clinking glass can be heard.

Source : Alaskas News Source

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