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Strong Earthquake Shakes Near Adak, Registering Magnitude 6.4

May 8, 2017

Credit U.S. Geological Survey / Alaska Earthquake Center

A series of earthquakes shook the Aleutian Islands Monday morning, including a strong 6.4-magnitude quake near Adak.

According to the Alaska Earthquake Center, the big event struck at 9 a.m. about 80 miles west of the community, where about 350 people live.

“I would suspect that it was close enough to Adak that they should have felt it, but it’s probably not big enough to cause damage,” said seismologist Natalia Ruppert.

Ruppert said the earthquake center has since detected a flurry of aftershocks. The small events have registered magnitudes around 4.0, but the center hasn't ruled out another large quake.

“It’s possible there will be another magnitude-6.0 earthquake," said Ruppert. "In 2008, we actually had magnitude-6.4 and -6.6 earthquakes in the same location, just a day apart.”

While earthquakes of that magnitude aren’t unusual for the region, Ruppert said Monday's event did strike in an uncommon spot.

“This was a shallow, coastal earthquake located underneath the island arc," she said. "What we typically see in the Aleutian Islands is that stronger earthquakes are located south of the arc, more offshore.”

The earthquake center is continuing to monitor seismic activity in the region. Officials say there is no danger of a tsunami.