Earthquakes Today: Alaska Earthquakes Off Coast, No Tsunami Threat

By Zack
August 30, 2013 1:09 pm Last Updated: August 30, 2013 9:19 pm

Two earthquakes on August 30 off the coast of Alaska, 7.0 and 6.6 magnitude, don’t appear to have started a tsunami.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that “a destructive pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii.”

The quakes were about 57 miles east/southeast from Adak, Alaska amd 959 miles south/southeast of Anadyr, Russia, and were followed by several aftershocks, including one measuring magnitude 5.1.

People in the Aleutian Island felt the earthquakes.

“I heard it coming,” said Kathleen Nevzoroff, who was sitting at her computer in the tiny Aleutians village of Adak when the major temblor struck at 8:25 a.m. local time, getting stronger and stronger. “I ran to my doors and opened them and my chimes were all ringing.”

Adak City Manager Layton Lockett said that the quakes were felt around 8:25 a.m. local time.

“It was kind of hard to miss,” Lockett said. “The strangest thing about this one was its length in time. I think people actually had time to get out of bed to see what was going on.”

Most structures in Adak, a very small city with a population of 326 as of the 2010 census, are built to withstand earthquakes and other forces of nature, said Lockett.

City clerk Debra Sharrah was upstairs in her two-story townhome getting ready for work when she heard a noise.

“I thought it was my dog running up the stairs,” she said. “It kept making noise and then it got louder. So then all of a sudden the rumbling started.”

The four-plex of townhomes was shaking and swaying as Sharrah and her dog, Pico, dashed out the door. It seemed like the building moved for a long time, but the only thing disturbed in her home was a stepstool that fell over.

“Nothing fell off my walls, and the wine glasses didn’t go out of the hutch or anything,” said Sharrah, who moved to the island community from Montana’s Glacier National Park area almost two years ago.

The quakes were also felt in Atka, a tiny Aleutian Island Native Aleut village, where people reported strong shaking but no damage.

The earthquakes were along the Aleutian arc, which extends from the Gulf of Alaska to the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The arc is a “seismically active region” that results from thrust faulting that “occurs along the interface between the Pacific and North America plates, extending from near the base of the trench to depths of 40 to 60 kilometers (24 to 27 miles),” according to the United States Geological Service. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.