This week’s quake near Chignik likely an aftershock from last year’s 8.2 magnitude jolt

At 7:33 p.m. on Wednesday evening, the Alaska Earthquake Center detected a magnitude 5.2 earthquake. No tsunami warning was generated. The quake  73 miles east of Chignik occurred only 90 miles away  from the epicenter of an 8.2 quake from last July.

Alaska Earthquake Center senior scientist Natalia Ruppert says seismologists suspect they were linked.

“When they have major large earthquakes, they rupture a certain fault, but then they perturb a much larger area and the stress over a much larger area changes. So the changes in the stress might trigger earthquakes on other different faults, not the same fault as the main shock. So it’s- we still call it an aftershock since it probably would have not happened without the 8.2 earthquake,” Ruppert said.

She says that this likely won’t be the last aftershock from the July 29, 2021 quake. Large seismic events  can generate aftershocks that don’t go off for more than a year after the fact.

“We definitely expect more aftershocks in that region. We cannot exactly predict when and how large they will be. But we will definitely see more aftershocks for a few more months,” Ruppert said.

The state’s earthquake center says at least seven people reported feeling Wednesday’s 5.2 quake. No damage was reported during the quake, and it was felt as far away as Anchorage some 400 miles away.

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