A major 8.2 earthquake has struck early Thursday morning (Central Time) 56-miles east-south-east of Perryville, Alaska, just off the southern coast, with prolonged ground shaking felt along almost the entire southern coast of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. The National Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami for the southern coastline of Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. After only a one-foot wave crossed into Old Harbor, the tsunami warning was cancelled.
Across southern Alaska, residents reported significant or major ground shaking, but only minor damage has been reported so far, mostly cosmetic damage to buildings. Samantha Peters of King Cove, Alaska said the shaking went on and on for several minutes. “All of my pictures are on the floor, everything in the fridge emptied out onto the kitchen floor, and one window broke, I was surprised at how little damage to the house I had with it shaking so long,” said Peters.
According to the USGS, several aftershocks up to 6.2 magnitude have occurred with more expected. The Kenai Peninsula is routinely struck with earthquakes as it is directly on the so-called “ring of fire”, a seismically active ring or zone the runs around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. Some of the largest recorded earthquakes in history have hit Chili, Alaska and Japan, all being located on the ring of fire.