Powerful Earthquake Strikes Alaska's Largest City

Published June 16, 2011

| Associated Press

Alaska's largest city was rocked by a powerful earthquake on Thursday, but there are no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The earthquake struck with a magnitude of 5.2 shortly after 11 a.m., according to seismologists at the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. It was centered about 50 miles southwest of Anchorage, said tsunami program manager Cindi Pressler.

The quake occurred 30 miles below ground and rumbled for several seconds. It will not generate a tsunami, the warning center said.

Anchorage police spokeswoman Anita Shell said there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the event was widely felt in the Kenai Peninsula and Cook Inlet regions, with the strongest shaking occurring in the Peninsula communities of Sterling and Soldotna.

Andrew Smith, who works in payroll at Soldotna City Hall on the Kenai Peninsula, said the shaking came in two rounds.

"At first, it felt like somebody was walking across the floor her, like walking real heavy. Then it stopped. Then was a five or six second delay, then it really shook."

He said the shaking continued 10 to 15 seconds.

"I'm really quite scared of earthquakes," he said. "You just never know when they are going to stop or how long it's going to last."

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