Strong Deep-Sea Quake Rattles Unalaska

Thursday, February 27 2014


The Alaska Earthquake Information Center recorded the quake about 215 miles west of Unalaska. /Courtesy: AEIC

If there’s an earthquake in the ocean and no one’s there to feel it, did it really happen? On Wednesday in the Aleutian Islands, the answer was yes.

A 6.1 magnitude quake coming from unusually deep underwater shook Nikolski and Unalaska around noon on Wednesday.

Natasha Ruppert of the Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the quake happened about 180 miles underwater, about 215 miles west of Unalaska.

"So it’s quite large and quite deep, and this is very unusual, both for earthquakes around the globe, and in particular it’s a very unusual event for Alaska," she said.

But that was all news to most Unalaskans -- like PCR recreation assistant Jamie Mendenhall:

"Wow! But no, I didn’t feel anything," she said on Thursday.

Most kids in the community center’s after-school program said they didn't feel it, either. A couple of girls, like Karina Villamor, thought they might have:

"I didn’t, unless -- was that [why] I fell over at my house? Oh, okay, then I felt it!" she said. "I was standing in the kitchen and I was boiling my eggs, and I fell over and my water spilled."

Unalaska Methodist Church pastor Dan Wilcox said he felt the quake too.

"I was just sitting at the office at the Methodist Church there, and I suddenly realized that the picture on the wall next to me was kinda shaking a little bit, at which point I realized that the whole room was shaking a little," he said.

But he wasn’t fazed. Like most Unalaskans, he’s felt quakes before.

Natasha Ruppert at the Alaska Earthquake Center said though this quake was larger than most, no damage was reported where it was felt. And she said the depth of the quake means it won’t create a risk for tsunamis or aftershocks.


You can camp on the beach on Monday, March 03 2014:

Never been a tsunami warning on the Bering sea side of the Aleutians - only advisories according to NOAA Historically only a reported 30cm rise has ever occurred in Unalaska Bay going back to the 1860's - Hawaii on the other hand has had 6-8 meter waves penetrating 140 meters inland. As long as people are not on the Pacific side of the Aleutians, people are safe .... unfortunately - the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (ATWC) will always contact local police, radio ,and TV stations whenever there is a warning in the "Aleutians" yet do not disseminate between the Pacific side and Bering Sea side

we live one block from the beach on Monday, March 03 2014:

Earthquakes are not unusual here in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska.
Most of the big earthquakes happen on the Pacific Ocean side, right? This earthquake happened in the Bering Sea and nearby. Anyway lets be prepared for tsunami earthquake.

J'Marinde Shephard on Friday, February 28 2014:

CORRECTED - they ned an EDIT button here!@:

Fascinating! I learned about a new part of the US I never before had heard of - - not even in GRADE (elementary) school, where we were usually taught the more obscure information about our country and its geography. I would like to see more information on this community and part of the US Thank you SO Much!

J'Marinde Shephard on Friday, February 28 2014:

Fascinating! I learned about a new part of the US I never before had heard of - - not even in grad school, where we were usually taught the more obscure information about our country and its geography. I would like to see more information on this community and part of the US Thank you SO Much!


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