Back-to-back quakes shake Anchorage, no immediate reports of injuries or damage
Wednesday, February 6th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ Two sharp earthquakes jolted Anchorage early Wednesday, making buildings shudder and tripping security alarms. There were no reports of serious damage or injuries.
The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said the first quake happened at 8:18 a.m. Alaska Time and the second began a minute later. Both had a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 and were centered 10 miles south of Anchorage.
``We're thinking it might be bigger, but that's the magnitude we're going with initially,'' said Bruce Turner of the warning center, located in Palmer, about 40 miles northeast of Anchorage. ``It was felt pretty strongly here.''
Marlene Lammers of the Anchorage Police Department said the department had received no reports of damage. Stores and some residents said some things had fallen off shelves.
At the Sunrise Grill and Pancake House in Anchorage, waitress Memory Moore said the second quake felt stronger than the first.
``The first one wasn't bad, but the second one _ I thought it was going to turn the pie case over. It was a jolter. I ran and got underneath the door frame,'' Moore said. ``The pies were shaking and the lights were swaying.''
The quakes were not strong enough to generate a tsunami, a damaging seismic sea wave, the warning center said.
``It's just one of those things that reminds you you live in Alaska,'' Turner said.
On Nov. 29, 2000, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 caused minor damage and was widely felt from Anchorage to Fairbanks. It was centered about 190 miles north of Anchorage.
An earthquake of magnitude 3.5 can cause slight damage in the local area; 4 can cause moderate damage; 5 considerable damage and 6 severe damage. Damage is usually less in areas with strong building codes.
The 1964 Good Friday earthquake in Alaska, which killed 131 people, generated a tsunami and was estimated at 9.2 magnitude.