Strong 7.1-magnitude earthquake shakes Alaska.

Powerful 7.1-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Alaska

Powerful 7.1-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Alaska

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The Slatest
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Jan. 24 2016 11:17 AM

Powerful 7.1-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Alaska

Kenai Lake, Alaska.
Kenai Lake, Alaska.


Things started violently shaking across south-central Alaska early Sunday morning when a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck around 162 miles southwest of Anchorage. The earthquake, which was around 50 miles deep, was strong, knocking items off shelves and walls. There were no reported injuries and the Fire Department was mostly busy with “reports of gas odors, alarm systems sounding, broken water lines, etc.,” notes the Alaska Dispatch News.

Although older Alaska residents said the earthquake was nowhere close to the 9.2 quake that devastated the region in 1964, for many it was the strongest they had felt in decades. “It felt like being on a rinky-dink boat in a storm, it was a lot of rocking and swaying,” one witness said.


“The house started to shake violently. The TV we were watching fell over, stuff fell off the walls,” a 26-year-old told the Associated Press. “Dishes were crashing, and we sprinted toward the doorway.”

Another witness told CNN that the earthquake lasted around 30 seconds. “When it hit, it was just soft at first, and it just kept getting bigger,” he said. “It was one of those moments where you didn’t know if it was going to get worse or if it was going to calm down.”

There were two strong aftershocks—one of a 4.3 magnitude and the other 4.7—a couple of hours later, but the National Weather Service said a tsunami was not expected as a result of the earthquake.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.