Earthquake rattles Southwest Alaska

May 29, 2015

6.4 earthquake struck 80 miles northeast of the Chigniks at 11pm Thursday night.

Map showing the location of the 6.4 earthquake off the coast of the Alaska Peninsula.
Credit Alaska Earthquake Center

KDLG: There were no tsunami warnings, but Thursday night’s 6.4 magnitude earthquake northeast of the Chigniks rattled residents all over Southwest Alaska. The quake happened at 11 p.m. sharp.

Alvin Peterson in Chignik Lagoon said it was the strongest earthquake he has felt in decades.

"Well, it was almost comparable to the '64 earthquake. The house was rocking pretty good," he said Friday morning. "There were some rock slides, and stuff falling off the shelves. It definitely rattled everybody’s nerves."

The quake was initially reported as a 6.8 magnitude, but AEIC called it 6.42.

Many Southwest Alaska area residents commenting on social media Thursday night referenced the earthquake’s long duration.

"I heard a couple reports that it lasted almost a minute," said Peterson. "It was pretty long, and pretty violent."

Residents in Chignik Bay, on the coast, headed for the tsunami shelter last night to be on the safe side.

Chignik Bay Fire Chief Guy Ashby, speaking Friday morning, said the quake began as a slow rumble before picking up momentum.

"It started off maybe like a 'three', just shook a little bit. Then you can hear as it starts building, starts shaking a little harder. It probably shook for 30 or 40 seconds," said Ashby. He said he was going to check around the community for damage Friday morning.

According to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center, Thursday's 6.42 quake happened at a depth of 35 miles, roughly 80 miles northeast of Chigniks.

Through Friday morning, it was followed up by about a dozen lighter earthquakes at nearby locations.

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