The largest earthquake in the United States in 50 years hit south of the Alaska Peninsula yesterday at around 10:15 PM, the largest earthquake since the M8.7 earthquake in the Aleutians in 1965.
While there was a lot of shaking and moving around, no major damage was reported across Alaska -- the largest state in the USA. The quake struck around 60 miles (96.56 kilometers) offshore, and around 29 miles (46 kilometers) below the surface of the North Pacific Ocean.
There were tsunami warnings in effect within seconds, with coastal communities told to evacuate, but in the end there was not much damage to report. The ground shook for up to two minutes in some places across Alaska, where the worst damage was broken glass, plates, and other household items that were being bounced around in homes.
Bryan Fisher, director of the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, explained: "You could imagine if that earthquake happened in Anchorage or in Los Angeles the damage that would have occurred and the loss of life and injury and property damage and all of that. But so far, so good. I was really assuming the worst, that there was going to be widespread catastrophic damage".
He added: "But to not have roads collapse, not have a damaging wave from the tsunami that was generated was just incredible. It's really a miracle".
Peter Haeussler, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey said that earthquakes aren't going to kill people directly, but more so buildings. He explained: "Because this earthquake was so far from the shore - it was basically out in the middle of nowhere and also in places where nobody is really living - then the ability to have strong ground shaking, to damage buildings, to injure people goes to pretty close to zero".
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