Environment

Shallow M6.1 earthquake hits off the coast of Cold Bay, Alaska


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.1 hit off the coast of Cold Bay, Alaska at 02:35 UTC on December 31, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 26.9 km (18.4 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.1 at a depth of 40 km (24.8 miles). This earthquake can have a low humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

The epicenter was located 79.8 km (49.6 miles) E of Pauloff Harbor and 1 019.2 km (633.3 miles) SW of Anchorage, Alaska.

There are about 1 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

Some 2 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking and 3 000 weak.


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The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick masonry and reinforced masonry construction.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, EMSC, TW



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