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Alaska Is Rattled By 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake

A 6.2 magnitude earthquake rattled Alaska on Thursday. Luckily, while very strong, it was a very deep quake, so no major damage was reported.

Alaska Public Media reports:

"The shaking caught the attention of residents across a large swath of the state, from Fairbanks down to Homer. In Anchorage, residents posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter of messy aisles in Fred Meyer, with shampoo bottles scattered across the floor, and tiles missing from ceilings in midtown buildings.

"[Michael West, who directs the Alaska Earthquake Center in Fairbanks], says events like this one are a reminder of what earthquakes are capable of in Alaska. He says a strong earthquake like this one that was more shallow and centered closer to a city would be capable of causing widespread damage and even death. A 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011 killed 185 people. West says he worries Alaskans have been lulled into thinking that big earthquakes are no big deal."

Still, the Anchorage Daily News reports there were some dramatic moments during the temblor:

"On the fifth floor of a downtown Anchorage law office, lawyer Allen Clendaniel felt the shaking start slow and build in intensity.

"Out of the corner of his eye, Clendaniel saw bookcases come crashing down in his partner John Wendlandt's office across the hall. Legal volumes, case briefs and files tumbled onto a pair of sofas and spilled over the floor.

"Clendaniel said he ran into the office to see if Wendlandt had been pinned under the shelves."

"Luckily, he hadn't come in yet," said Clendaniel, whose office was mostly spared from falling objects.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.