Earthquake rattles Southwest Alaska

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

Listen now:

Alvin Peterson in Chignik Lagoon says it’s the strongest earthquake he’s felt in decades.

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

“Well, it was almost comparable to 64 earthquake. The house was rocking pretty good,” stated Peterson. “I understand there was some rock slides and stuff falling off the selves and breaking. It defiantly rattled everybody’s nerves”

The quake was initially reported as a 6.8 magnitude but was later downgraded. Residents all around the region took to Facebook last night to discuss the earthquake and its effects. Many of those commenting said the earthquake’s unusually long duration was a bit shocking. Peterson agreed.

“I heard a couple reports it lasted almost a minute but it was pretty long, and pretty violent,” added Peterson.

Closer to the coast, residents in Chignik Bay headed for the tsunami shelter last night to be on the safe side. Fire chief Guy Ashby, speaking this morning, said the quake started as a slow roll.

“It started of maybe like a three, just shock a little bit. And then you can start hearing it building and it starts shaking a little harder,” said Ashby. “It probably shook about 35 or 40 seconds.”

The quake happened at a depth of 35 miles. It had a magnitude, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center, of 6.42 on the Richter Scale, and according to posts on Facebook, was felt as far west as Platinum, and Wasilla in the east.