The biggest US earthquake in half a century causes little damage to Alaska

On July 28, 2021, a line of cars was evacuated from Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska, after a tsunami warning was issued following a magnitude 8.2 earthquake. Tsunami warnings for most of Alaska’s south coast were canceled when a maximum wave of just over 0.5 feet was recorded at Old Harbor. Alaska. Credit: Sarah Knapp / Homer News via AP

According to officials, the largest quake in the United States in the last half century has caused many tremors, but has spared Alaska significant damage in less populated areas.

A magnitude 8.2 quake was reported Wednesday at about 10:15 pm and occurred just south of the Alaska Peninsula, about 500 miles (804.67 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage. According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake was about 60 miles (96.56 kilometers) offshore and 29 miles (46 kilometers) below the surface of the North Pacific Ocean.

The Alaska Earthquake Center said on its website that it was the largest earthquake in the United States since the 1965 earthquake of magnitude 8.7 on the Aleutian Islands. A year earlier, a magnitude 9.2 Good Friday quake destroyed Anchorage and some of the other Alaskan communities.The earthquake and subsequent tsunami 131 people died from Alaska to California.

The quake at the end of Wednesday caused a lot of shaking. However, the director of the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Alaska said Thursday that no major damage was reported anywhere in the country’s largest state.

“I can imagine the damage, loss of life, injury, property damage, etc. that would have happened if the quake had happened in Anchorage or Los Angeles, but so far it’s very good.” Director Brian Fisher said.

He has been with the agency for 26 years and this was the biggest earthquake he had ever experienced.

“I was really assuming the worst, and there would be widespread catastrophic damage,” he said.

However, the call was made to the evacuated coastal community during the tsunami warning, and the call was able to pass. This is a good first sign. Local authorities also reported no structural or significant damage.

Given the length of time the ground sways, it was expected that glasses, plates, and items would be broken from the pantry or refrigerator in up to 2 minutes in some locations.

“But it was just unbelievable that the roads wouldn’t collapse and that there wouldn’t be any damage from the tsunami that occurred,” Fisher said. “It’s really a miracle.”

Peter Whistler, a research geologist at the US Geological Survey, says it’s a common saying that earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings kill.

“This quake was so far away from the coast that it basically happened in a place where we didn’t live anywhere, so the ability to shake strong ground, damage buildings, and injure people is pretty close. Zero I will do it. “

A tsunami caused by an earthquake can also cause great damage. But he said it didn’t replace much water because this happened under the ledge.

“We were lucky and very lucky,” said Jordan Keeler, city manager at Sandpoint, a community of about 1,300 people located about 65 miles (104.61 km) southwest of the epicenter of the quake. I did.

The city crew went out in the first light on Thursday to make an assessment.

“Everything seems to be working,” he said. This followed reports from the city’s police chief and harbourmaster that there was no major damage.

The tsunami warning to Alaska was canceled early Thursday when the community began reporting small wave sizes of just over 0.5 feet (15.2 centimeters). The tsunami warning that also occurred in Hawaii was canceled, and officials said there was no threat to Guam, American Samoa, or the Northern Mariana Islands.

NS Tsunami warning Alaska covered a range of approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from Prince William Sound to Samalga Island, Alaska, near the end of the Aleutian Islands.

Homer’s Kenai Peninsula community has seen constant evacuation of cars from Homer Spit, a land protrusion that stretches about five miles (8 km) into Kakemac Bay, where tourists and fishermen gather.

At King Cove, up to 400 people were evacuated to the school gym.

“We are used to this. It is quite normal for this kind of earthquake to occur in this area. When the tsunami siren sounds, that’s what we do,” said Principal Paul. Barker told Anchorage Daily News. “I’m not familiar with it, but it’s part of the job of living here and being part of the community.”

The quake occurred in the area where a magnitude 8 quake was recorded in 1938. Haeussler said little was known about the quake, but Wednesday’s quake seems to have re-ruptured the southwestern part of the region.

The quake also occurred in areas where two fairly strong quakes were reported last year. Haeussler said earthquake Scientists will be interested in understanding the relationships between them.

Several aftershocks have been reported within hours of the quake.

Magnitude 8.2 earthquake off the Alaska Peninsula, small tsunami

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The biggest US earthquake in half a century causes little damage to Alaska

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