8.2 Earthquake Hits Alaska

By Tristan Zelden | 2 months ago

alaska earthquake

One of the biggest earthquakes in the history of Alaska hit Wednesday (July 28) night with an 8.2 magnitude.

The Alaska Earthquake Center tweeted out the news about the earthquake. 65 miles off the Alaska Peninsula, Perryville, a small village of approximately 100 people, started at 10:15 p.m. local time. It struck 75 miles southeast from Chignik and was 20 miles deep. This marks the largest since 1965.

Initially, there was a tsunami warning, going from Samalga Pass in the Aleutians to Prince William Sound. Residents were advised to seek higher ground in case it were to occur. It was later downgraded to an advisory an hour and 45 minutes later as things cleared up and more information was gathered on the earthquake. The advisory was canceled around 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

Outside of Alaska, the tsunami warning triggered by the earthquake kicked up notices to coastal areas regarding a potential tsunami. There was a warning for Hawaii, too but later scrapped. It was reported that waves were seven inches higher than normal. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center advised Guam and American Samoa that there might be a threat, but it was later retracted when it was found that those residents would be safe. California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia were all cleared too.

Anchorage Daily News reported that there are no known injuries or deaths when the earthquake hit.

The initial earthquake was measured as a magnitude of 7.2 but was revised up to 8.2. Afterward, there were two aftershocks that followed within half an hour later. One was a 6.2 magnitude, and the other was 5.6.

After the earthquake, police in Kodiak advised people to seek higher ground. The local high school was an option as an evacuation location. Kodiak is by the northwestern tip of Kodiak Island, making it the biggest town on the island, the largest island in Alaska, and the second largest for the country.

The Wednesday earthquake is the third in the past 18 months. It also marks the third evacuation in that same time frame. The United States Geographical Survey reports that since 1900, there has been eight total with a magnitude of seven or higher.

The one bigger earthquake that hit Alaska was 8.7 that hit the Aleutians in 1965. The year before, there was a 9.2 that caused $311 worth of damage and killed 131 people across Southcentral Alaska. Last November, the state endured one that was 7.0, followed by aftershocks resulting in massive damage to roads and buildings.

The location of Alaska is prone to having issues like earthquakes. Set on the Pacific Ring of Fire, it is under consistent threats of tectonic and volcanic activity.

Earthquakes have not been the only issue for Alaska. Similar to other states like California, Washington, and Oregon, wildfires have scorched a lot of ground, burning 3 million acres (4,687 miles or 12,140 kilometers) so far this year. That is bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Alaska also caught smoke from Siberia, which had a major wildfire that only recently is getting under control.