WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Alaska was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake near Anchorage on Friday, ripping open roads and knocking out power.
- Two days after, Alaska is still shaking with nearly 200 aftershocks of magnitude 3.0 or higher hitting parts of Alaska since Friday, the US Geological Survey said.
- But the USGS also said that an aftershock stronger or as strong as Friday’s shake is unlikely as the probability for an earthquake of magnitude 7 or higher before Dec. 8 is only 3 percent.
The Last Frontier was struck by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Friday but the shaking hasn’t stopped yet. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) geophysicist Brad Aagaard told USA Today that there had been 166 aftershocks of magnitude 3.0 or higher around Anchorage as of 4:50 p.m. PST Sunday.
Aagaard assured that there will be fewer aftershocks as time goes on. The USGS has predicted 84 to 610 aftershocks of magnitude 3 or higher over the next week.
Aftershocks of at least 3 are more than 99 percent likely. There’s an 88 percent chance of a magnitude 5 or higher, too, the USGS told USA Today.
An aftershock stronger or as strong as Friday’s tremor is unlikely, said the USGS, as the probability for a magnitude 7 or higher before Dec. 8 is only 3 percent.
“If [the earthquake] had been a much shallower one, people really would be feeling a lot more aftershocks,” Aagaard said. “So that is probably helping to some extent, in terms of people not feeling as many aftershocks, because they are occurring deeper.”
USGS predict aftershocks using generic models at first, then makes adjustments as they monitor aftershocks on the first day. The forecasts are updated by scientists on a daily basis and then they make weekly projections, the time range in which they have the most confidence.
During a news conference on Sunday, Anchorage officials said that delivery of food supplies, fuel and other cargo has not been interrupted.
At the Port of Anchorage, ships are coming in on schedule and the supply lines are normal, according to Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.
The magnitude 7.0 quake knocked out power and extremely damaged Glenn Highway, the only highway running north of Anchorage.
As the highway is being repaired, workers living north of Anchorage were advised to take Monday off or work from home to lessen traffic. Gov. Bill Walker gave state office workers in the Anchorage area Monday off.
Friday’s earthquake did not cause widespread damage to structures or collapsed buildings.
According to the USGS, Friday’s tremor was the strongest to hit Alaska since a magnitude 7.9 in the remote Rat Islands in 2014.
Source: USA Today