Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake Hits Eastern Aleutians

A large earthquake hit near Nikolski around 10:30 Friday morning.

“Nikolski is located about 75 miles from the epicenter and I would expect that at this distance a 6.2 would be felt by most people,” says Alaska Earthquake Information Center seismologist Natasha Ruppert. “But when we called and asked people, nobody actually felt it.”

Ruppert says she hasn’t had time to do any analysis, but her suspicion is that the earthquake, although powerful, moved very slowly – too slowly for human perception.

“When an earthquake is initiated, it starts in one point, then this rupture propagates along the fault. It can be slow propagation and then it would generate more low frequencies in the seismic wave.

Despite that, Ruppert says the quake probably created a good-size fault.

“It’s probably on the order of 10 miles, so it’s a pretty sizeable earthquake.”

The last time a magnitude 6-plus earthquake hit the eastern Aleutians was September 2011.

So far, few aftershocks have been recorded from this morning’s event. Ruppert expects there will be some, although people may not feel them either. The earthquake didn’t generate a tsunami warning.

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