ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A powerful earthquake located off Alaska’s southern coast jolted some coastal communities late Tuesday, and some residents briefly scrambled for higher ground over fears of a tsunami.
There were no immediate reports of damage in the sparsely populated area of the state, and tsunami warning was canceled after the magnitude 7.8 quake off the Alaska Peninsula produced a wave of a less than a foot.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake struck Tuesday at 10:12 p.m. local time, centered in waters 65 miles (105 kilometers) south-southeast of Perryville, Alaska at a depth of 17 miles (28 km).
Because of its location, nearby communities along the Alaska Peninsula did not experience shaking that would normally be associated with that magnitude of a quake, said Michael West, Alaska State Seismologist.
However, that doesn’t mean they slept through it: West said residents in small towns within a hundred miles of the quake reported very strong shaking, and was also felt more than 500 miles away in the Anchorage area, West said.
“No reports of any damage,” Kodiak Police Sgt. Mike Sorter told The Associated Press early Wednesday morning. “No injuries were reported. Everything is nominal.”
Kodiak is about 200 miles northeast of where the earthquake was centered.
The tsunami warning had coastal residents evacuating for higher ground. Social media posts showed long lines of people fleeing towns like Homer and Kodiak while tsunami sirens wailed in the background.
On Kodiak Island, the local high school opened its doors for evacuees, as did the local Catholic school, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
“We’ve got a high school full of people,” said Larry LeDoux, superintendent of the Kodiak School District. “I’ve been passing out masks since the first siren sounded,” he told the Daily News.
“Everything’s as calm as can be. We’ve got probably 300, 400 people all wearing masks,” he said before the warning was canceled.
Tsunami warnings are commonplace for people who grew up in Kodiak.
”I’ve been doing these since I was a little kid,” LeDoux told the newspaper. “Old news.”
Officials at the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, began calling off tsunami advisories and warnings after a wave of only 25 centimeters (.8 foot) was recorded in the community of Sand Point.
“I might have expected a little bit more water, but I’m happy that there wasn’t,” said David Hale, the senior duty scientist at the tsunami center.
Tuesday’s quake was more powerful than the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that caused damage in the Anchorage area in November 2018.
“This earthquake released about 15 times as much energy as that earthquake, said West, the state seismologist.
More than a dozen aftershocks of magnitude 4.0 or higher were reported immediately after the earthquake, he said by telephone from the Alaska Earthquake Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
”We got people here who are going be working all night,” West said early Wednesday morning. ”These aftershocks will go and go and go and go.”
The Alaska-Aleutian Trench was also where a magnitude 9.2 quake in 1964 was centered. That remains the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded. The temblor and ensuing tsunami caused widespread damage and killed 131 people, some as far away as Oregon and California. Alaska is the most actively seismic state. Nearly 25,000 earthquakes have been recorded in Alaska since Jan. 1, according to the center.
INGLEWOOD — An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.7 rattled parts of Southern California on Wednesday morning, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The quake, centered near the unincorporated View Park-Windsor Hills area, near Inglewood, struck at 12:03 a.m. at a depth of just over 7 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was initially reported as a magnitude 3.8 by the USGS.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted about 12:25 a.m., “Our Los Angeles Fire Department has activated to conduct its routine survey of the city to assess for any damages. City teams will continue to monitor.”
The quake was felt at Los Angeles International Airport, but there were no reports of damage or injuries. A check of airport facilities was underway, but operations were not impacted, an airport official said.
An #earthquake was felt at LAX but we have no reports of damage or injuries. Crews are checking all facilities with no current impact to operations.
BOISE, Idaho — An earthquake struck north of Boise Tuesday evening, with people across a large area reporting shaking.
The U.S. Geological Survey reports the magnitude 6.5 temblor struck just before 6 p.m. It was centered 73 miles northeast of Meridian, near the rural mountain town of Stanley. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
More than 2 million live in the region that could feel the Idaho quake, according to the USGS, with reports of shaking coming in from as far away as Helena, Montana, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Marcus Smith, an emergency room health unit coordinator at St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, said the hospital, about 65 miles (104 kilometers) south of the epicenter, shook but the quake didn’t interfere with the treatment of any patients. The hospital in Blaine County is on the front line of Idaho’s coronavirus outbreak, in a region with the nation’s highest per-capita rates of known COVID-19 cases outside of New York City and its surrounding counties.
“It felt like a wave going through the ground, so I knew right away what it was. It just felt like waves going through the ground,” he said.
The earthquake added stress during an already tense time for the region, but Smith said everything seemed fine, for now. “Until the next one, I guess,” Smith said. “I mean, that’s what we do. We’re all good.”
Brett Woolley, the owner of Bridge Street Grill in Stanley, said he heard the earthquake coming before he felt it.
“I heard the roar, and at first it sounded like the wind but then the roar was tremendous,” Woolley said about 10 minutes after the earthquake. “The whole house was rattling, and I started to panic. I’m sitting here perfectly still and the water next to me is still vibrating.”
Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist at Caltech and the founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Seismology, said the Idaho region has an earthquake of about this size every 30 or 40 years. The most recent one, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake near Borah Peak in 1983, killed two children in Challis and caused an estimated $12.5 million in property damage across Challis and Mackay.
That quake was along what scientists call a “normal fault,” with the quake causing vertical movement, she said. Tuesday’s quake appeared to be on an unmapped “strike-slip fault,” causing mostly horizontal movement along the fault line.
“This is one that wasn’t obvious enough to be mapped before now,” Jones said.
Unmapped faults of this size are rarer in highly populated areas like California, she said, but in sparsely populated and remote regions like central Idaho they’re less likely to cause damage and less likely to be a focus of geologists and seismologists.
Residents in the region will likely continue to feel aftershocks, she said. The area had already recorded five aftershocks within the first hours after the 6.5 earthquake.
“An aftershock is just an earthquake, but it happens at a time that doesn’t surprise us,” she said. “They do every bit as much damage.”
People in an earthquake should drop to the floor and cover their heads with their arms, she said.
“Get to the floor before the earthquake throws you there, and if you have a table nearby, get under it and hold onto it,” Jones said. “Running in an earthquake is incredibly dangerous — people die from running in an earthquake. Just get down and try to cover.”
By Jason Green and George Kelly, Bay Area News Group
PLEASANT HILL – A magnitude 4.5 earthquake jolted the East Bay late Monday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, striking amid a small swarm of quakes in the area.
The USGS said the temblor hit just at 10:33 p.m. less than a mile south-southeast of Pleasant Hill at a depth of roughly 8½ miles. It was initially measured at 4.7 but downgraded to 4.5.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries.
The M4.5 quake at 10:33 pm was in the East Bay at 14 km depth. Because any quake can be a foreshock, there’s a slight increase in the chance of a bigger quake for the next few days, at the same location near the Calaveras fault
BART service was impacted by the quake, with trains running at reduced speeds for track inspections. Passengers were told to expect delays up to 20 minutes.
The earthquake came just days before the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta quake, a magnitude 6.9 that killed more than 60 people. It also served as a reminder that USGS scientists have predicted a 63 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger quake striking the Bay Area in the next 30 years.
Pleasant Hill, like much of the Bay Area, is seismically active. The Concord Fault lies a mile northeast of the city and the Calaveras and Hayward faults sit about 7.5 miles and 11 miles to the southwest, respectively.
Monday night’s shaker was preceded by several smaller quakes, including a magnitude 2.5 at 10:23 p.m., according to the USGS. Caltech reported more than a dozen smaller quakes in the Pleasant Hill and Pacheco areas in the hour after the magnitude 4.5.
In a tweet, USGS seismologist Lucy Jones warned that there was a chance that a larger quake could follow.
“Because any quake can be a foreshock,” she said, “there’s a slight increase in the chance of a bigger quake for the next few days, at the same location near the Calaveras Fault.”
Staff writer Lisa Krieger contributed to this report.
As the Kern County city of Ridgecrest rebounds from the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Thursday, July 4, public agencies are imploring Southern California communities and residents to prepare for disaster.
Caltrans District 8, which oversees Riverside and San Bernardino counties, on Thursday encouraged residents to keep a survival kit, water, comfortable clothing and shoes in their cars in case of emergency. Among the items to include in a survival pack are toothbrushes and bars of soap, a whistle and a flashlight, cash and coins, sunblock and bug repellent.
Residents always should carry enough water for three days, Caltrans officials say.
Southern California Gas, meanwhile, advised customers not to shut off their natural gas after an earthquake unless they notice a gas leak. Customers should call 911 and immediately leave the area if they smell or hear natural gas, company officials tweeted Thursday.
“Earthquakes can happen at any time … and we need to be prepared,” California Earthquake Authority CEO Glenn Pomeroy said in a statement. “It’s important to know what to do to stay safe when the ground starts shaking.”
The California Earthquake Authority is a privately-funded, publicly-managed nonprofit providing residential earthquake insurance.
Los Angeles County Fire officials on Thursday reminded Southern California residents to drop, cover and hold during an earthquake. After the shaking, residents should be prepared for aftershocks and check for fires, hazards and damaged utilities.
Experts at the state Seismic Safety Commission also recommend helping neighbors who may require special assistance, particularly the elderly and people with disabilities.
And to be informed during all types of disasters and emergencies, residents can sign up for alerts through city and county agencies.