Four earthquakes hit southwest Alaska this weekend

Southwest Alaska felt four earthquakes over the last two days, according to the U.S. Tsuami Warning Center.

The first one hit 50 miles west of Homer around noon yesterday. Early this morning, two more struck along the Aleutian chain, one off Amchitka and another off Chignik. Then at around 6 am this morning, a fourth earthquake hit the Gulf 160 miles southeast of Kodiak. All were at magnitudes less than 6.2. The one off of Kodiak was just a 4.8.

Location of the fourth earthquake in two days, 160 miles southeast of Kodiak. (Map courtesy National Tsunami Warning Center)

Oceanographer Chris Popham works at the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer. He said the Kodiak quake was a late aftershock of the earthquake that hit last January, striking in the same location and approximately the same depth.

“That’s getting to be a while ago, but every now and then we’ll get another one out there,” he said. So it’s certainly not unprecedented.”

None of the earthquakes warranted a tsunami warning — Popham says they usually have to be around a 7.1 for that. And he said, while the string of quakes certainly got their attention at the Tsunami Warning Center, he doesn’t think they were connected.

Earthquake science isn’t exactly predictive, meaning that Popham couldn’t say whether these earthquakes are any indication of more to come. Statistically, it’s unlikely, he said.

“There’s no telltale signs that a bigger one’s going to happen. Sometimes they do sometimes they don’t.”

For the latest earthquake updates, you can sign up for SMS notifications from the Tsunami Warning Center.

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