4.1-magnitude earthquake strikes Nikiski

A brief earthquake rattled Nikiski on Labor Day, though not everyone felt the shaking.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.1 in Nikiski, about 3 miles east of Nikiski and 9 miles northeast of Kenai. The epicenter was measured to be about 34 miles deep, according to an information release on the USGS website.

The quake, which occurred at about 1:05 p.m. according to the USGS, rattled some buildings in central Kenai Peninsula communities, including Kenai, Nikiski and Kasilof. However, others reported feeling minimal or no shaking. The USGS’s shakemap shows most of the shaking detection as weak and brief, even close to the epicenter.

Situated at the edge of the Pacific tectonic plate and pocked with active volcanoes, Alaska’s gulf coast and the Aleutian island chain get frequent small earthquakes. The Nikiski earthquake was the 24th quake to occur on Monday alone in the state, according to the USGS, though it was the largest of the day to that point, including an approximately 2.4-magnitude quake at 9:53 a.m. about 18 miles west of Ninilchik and a 1.6-magnitude quake about 19 miles northwest of Cooper Landing.

It followed another 3.3-magnitude quake that some felt in the Cook Inlet area Sunday evening, which originated about eight miles west of Tyonek, a village on the west side of Cook Inlet.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at elizabeth.earl@peninsulaclarion.com.

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