ALASKA, U.S. — Alaska’s largest earthquake in over 50 years struck the state last night, prompting wide-reaching tsunami warnings and sending residents scrambling to safety. While all warnings and advisories have been canceled and damage reports appear minimal, the true nature of the earthquake won’t be known until the sun rises Thursday morning across the Last Frontier.
Registering in at an 8.2 on the Richter scale, Wednesday night’s earthquake is believed to be the largest to rock the United States since 1965. The tremor’s epicenter was located 65 miles southeast of Perryville, or 250 miles southwest of Kodiak. With its hypocenter at roughly 29 miles deep, this quake is considered to be rather shallow. Shallower earthquakes are typically more dangerous, as seismic waves travel a shorter distance to the surface compared to deeper tremors.
Fortunately, tsunami fears did not ring true, as the largest swell crested at just over a half-foot along Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Tsunami advisories were also issued for many Pacific islands outside of Alaska, including Hawaii, but have since been canceled.
Two strong aftershocks clocking in at magnitudes 6.2 and 5.6, respectively, also struck just off the coast of the Aleutian Islands last night.
The 8.2 earthquake is also the strongest the world has seen since 2018.