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No tsunami threat from strong quake in Gulf of Alaska

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A strong earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska this morning did not generate a tsunami, officials said.

The quake, which struck at 10:42 a.m., had a magnitude of 6.4 and was centered 349 miles southeast of Anchorage at a depth of 34 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach said there was no tsunami threat. The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center also said there was no threat to that region.

There were no reports of damage despite tremors being felt across a large part of southern Alaska. A series of aftershocks also were recorded.

Natasha Ruppert, a seismologist with the Alaska Earthquake Information Center, said this was the largest earthquake in the region since 1987 and 1988, when quakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.7, respectively, struck.

She said today’s earthquake wasn’t of the kind that would generate tsunami concerns, as it was relatively small and involved two sides of the fault moving horizontally — not vertical motion. Ruppert said the earthquake was not directly related to the magnitude 7.7 quake that struck off the west coast of Canada last month, though she said the two are in same plate boundary system.

Today’s quake struck about 150 miles south of Cape Yakataga, and about 180 miles from Yakutat. People reported feeling it from as far away as Sitka, Juneau and Anchorage, which is nearly 340 miles away, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Louise Petersen, who works at the Glass Door Bar in Yakutat, said items on the wall moved a little, but the quake didn’t feel very strong.

She said it wasn’t unusual, “but we don’t get them too often.”

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