Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Alaska Earthquake

An earthquake estimated at magnitude 4.7 jolted Southcentral Alaska at about 12:15 p.m. Tuesday.

The earthquake was centered about 16 miles north of Anchorage and about 9 miles northwest of Eagle River, according to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center. Initial estimates put the earthquake's depth at 16 miles.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does not expect a tsunami from the event.

The quake was widely felt by Southcentral residents because of its relative proximity to populations centers and because it was relatively shallow, said Natasha Ruppert, a seismologist with the Alaska Earthquake Information Center.

"We consider it shallow, but earthquakes can occur all the way up to the surface, even at a one-mile depth," Ruppert said. "This is relatively shallow, because in Alaska we have earthquakes as deep as 150 miles."

"We haven't received any reports of damage," Ruppert said. "What people reported is that some objects, lightweight objects, toppled and fell down, and maybe just shifted from one place to another a little bit. But we didn't get any reports of heavy objects falling or any structural damage so far."

Reports on the earthquake's magnitude and location are based on preliminary data and are subject to minor changes, Ruppert said.

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