The Latest: Alaska quake increases in size to magnitude 7.1

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The latest on an earthquake that struck south-central Alaska early Sunday (all times local):

11:54 a.m.

The earthquake that rattled southern Alaska early Sunday morning could be followed by aftershocks for weeks.

The U.S. Geological Survey on its website lists the temblor at magnitude 7.1. That was the initial magnitude given by the federal agency before downgrading it to magnitude 6.8 shortly after the quake.

There were no injuries in the earthquake, felt across Alaska’s most populated areas. It did cause a gas leak that lead to an explosion in one home and the evacuation of a neighborhood in the community of Kenai (KEY’-nigh).

Alaska State Seismologist Michael West says this is the largest earthquake in decades in this region of Alaska. He also says there’s been numerous smaller aftershocks, and those could continue for weeks.


9:34 a.m.

A police chief in Alaska says one home was extensively damaged in an explosion following a Sunday morning earthquake.

Thirty homes that have been evacuated as firefighters, policemen and gas utility workers continue to work on the gas leak that followed a magnitude 6.8 earthquake early Sunday morning. The temblor was centered about 160 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Kenai Police Chief Gus Sandahl says about 20 people are taking shelter at the Kenai Armory after the neighborhood was evacuated.

Police initially responded to another house and put out a fire there with an extinguisher. But then a flame came under a wall, and they backed off. Firefighters put this fire out, and the explosion happened at a neighboring house a few hours later.

Sandahl says all firefighters and utility workers were accounted for, and there’s been no reports of injury.


6:07 a.m.

An early morning earthquake that rattled Alaska has been followed by a second aftershock in the Cook inlet region.

The Alaska Earthquake Center says preliminary reports put the latest aftershock at a magnitude-4.7.

A magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck early Sunday knocked items off shelves and walls in south-central Alaska and jolted the nerves of residents in this earthquake-prone region. But there were no immediate reports of injuries.

The earthquake struck about 1:30 a.m. Alaska time and was centered 53 miles west of Anchor Point in the Kenai Peninsula, which is about 160 miles southwest of Anchorage, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. About two hours later, a magnitude-4.3 aftershock hit the Cook Inlet, the agency said.

The possibility of a gas leak led to the evacuation of more than a dozen homes in Kenai.

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