Strong earthquakes hit B.C.-Alaska border near Mosquito Lake

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Two strong earthquakes with preliminary magnitudes of 6.3 and 6.2 have struck British Columbia, centered near the Canadian city of Whitehorse and the border with the U.S. state of Alaska. Shaking has been felt across the region.

The first quake, at 5:31 a.m. PT (4:31 a.m. AKT), had a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 and was centered about 48 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Alaska’s Mosquito Lake, or 133 kilometers (82 miles) southwest of Canada’s Whitehorse. It was followed by a stronger quake – a 6.3 – at 7:18 a.m. PT (6:18 a.m. AKT).

The first quake struck about 2.2 kilometers (1.3 mile) below the surface, making it a very shallow earthquake. The second quake struck slightly deeper, about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) below the surface, according to seismologists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Shaking from the first quake was felt across the region, waking up many people. Residents in Whitehorse have reported power outages and minor damage, but detailed information about damage and possible injuries was not immediately available.

“I was in bed and woken up by violent shaking. Power is out,” a resident in Whitehorse told EMSC, describing the first earthquake. A resident in Juneau, in Alaska, told EMSC: “It woke me up and lasted longer than I have ever experienced before.”

The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center said there is no threat of a tsunami.

The sparsely populated region of Alaska, which sits on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, is occasionally struck by powerful earthquakes. Most notably, an enormous 9.2-magnitude earthquake struck north of Prince William Sound in Alaska on March 27, 1964, unleashing a tsunami which killed at least 143 people.

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