In the Rat Islands of Alaska, a sizeable earthquake has struck, affecting several islands including some Aleutian islands as well. This was one of the larger quakes to hit the region, prone to seismic activity. With a magnitude of 5.8, but at a depth of around 65.8 miles, damage from the quake was still minimal. Because of the location, an evaluation was made for the possibility of a resulting tsunami, but a statement was issued that none was expected. It was centered approximately 5 kilometers SSW of Semisopochnoi Island, Alaska.
The Aleutian Arc is a relatively seismically active area due to the subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the North America plate, and locals are used to frequent quakes. Activity of this magnitude is infrequent, and had it started closer to the surface, significantly more damage would have been expected. The readings from the event have been reviewed by a seismologist, and more detailed information will be available after a thorough evaluation has been completed.
By Jim Malone
Image courtesy of Brian Hoffman – Flickr License