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Northwest Alaska quake is fifth in area since April

Seismologists say a moderate earthquake that shook northwest Alaska on Monday was the fifth of the same magnitude since April in an area with otherwise little activity.

The Alaska Earthquake Center says the magnitude-5.7 quake struck at 4:01 a.m. Monday northeast of Noatak, an Inupiat Eskimo community.

As with other temblors in the earthquake swarm, the quake was felt in the village.

Seismologist Natasha Ruppert says the five magnitude-5.7 quakes are connected to more than 300 aftershocks. The first quake occurred April 18, and all have been located in roughly the same area about 20 miles from Noatak.

Minor damage includes cracks in walls in Noatak, but no injuries have been reported.

Ruppert says there are no known active faults in the area, and scientists are puzzled.

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