Strong earthquake hits the Gulf of Alaska, no damage

JUNEAU, ALASKA (BNO NEWS) -- A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck underneath the Gulf of Alaska on Monday morning, making it the area's strongest earthquake in more than a quarter of a century, seismologists and witnesses said. There were no reports of damage or casualties.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake at 10:42 a.m. local time (2042 GMT) was centered about 248 kilometers (154 miles) south of Cape Yakataga in Alaska, or about 502 kilometers (312 miles) west of Juneau. It struck about 55.2 kilometers (34.3 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Computer models showed the earthquake was located too far offshore to have resulted in major shaking on land, but several residents in places such as Anchorage, Homer, Juneau and Sitka reported feeling weak tremors. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Because earthquakes with a magnitude below 7 do not usually pose a tsunami threat, no tsunami watches or warnings were issued. "No destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin.

Monday's earthquake was the strongest on record in the region since March 1988 when a powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck the Gulf of Alaska near Anchorage. It followed a 7.8-magnitude earthquake a year earlier, but both only resulted in damage, a small tsunami and no casualties.

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