Magnitude-6.2 earthquake rattles corner of Canada, Alaska

Terry Joseph
May 3, 2017

Haines Junction resident Wolf Reidl said this morning he was living in Haines Junction in 1979 when there was a 7.2 or 7.4 quake in the region.

Quake magnitudes and locations may be revised slightly as additional data is processed by seismologists.

"It was a pretty good shake", said Jean, who works at Bernies Gas Station in Whitehorse.

Jaimie Lawson, a 911 dispatcher with the Skagway Police Department, said the town 55 miles (89 kilometers) away from the quake did not receive reports of damage or injuries from the initial shaking.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports several other earthquakes in the area at around the same time, including one that measured 5.2.

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Pat Commons owns the Riverside Grocery in downtown Whitehorse and said he arrived at the store Monday morning to find some items had toppled off the shelves.

Power was knocked out to some 8,000 customers after safety mechanisms tripped off the Whitehorse substation.

Mark McCready, a spokesman for Alaska Power and Telephone, said he wasn't aware of any issues related to the quake.

A magnitude-6.2 quake near the Canada-Alaska border jarred people awake, including lawmakers in the state capital, and set off a series of aftershocks, including a magnitude-6.3, officials said. According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Alaska Earthquake Center, it had a magnitude of 6.2. A magnitude 6.0 natural disaster centered at Palma Bay, near Icy Strait, occurred in July 2014. Having said that, neither of the focal mechanisms show slip parallel to the fault, suggesting these quakes occurred on secondary structures.

Chastity Aiken is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. Nonetheless, it was a literal wake up call, for people in British Columbia and southeastern Alaska.

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