6.1 quake

A 6.1 quake hit near Sutton Sunday night, which was felt across much of Interior Alaska. 

A 6.1 earthquake shook much of mainland Alaska on Sunday night.

With an epicenter about 60 miles east of Talkeetna and 45 miles north of Chickaloon, the earthquake was felt from Kenai and Cordova to Fairbanks and Tok, according to Alaska State Seismologist Michael West.

“Most people who experienced this earthquake were a considerable distance away,” he wrote for the Alaska Earthquake Center at University of Alaska Fairbanks. ”As a result, the shaking was mostly experienced as long rolling motions and not the sharp jolt experienced by people close to the epicenter.”

The earthquake happened about 44 km beneath the surface, and, similarly to the 2018 Anchorage earthquake, was caused by the process of subduction of the Pacific tectonic plate, West explained. Subduction is a geological event when two plates crash up against each other, resulting in one sliding under the other. 

Starting around 11 p.m., the shake was not strong enough to cause significant damage in Alaska, but it was noticeable, West wrote.

Multiple people tweeted and commented throughout Sunday night and Monday about being awakened by the shaking.

Aftershocks will continue to follow, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. The seismologists expect smaller earthquakes magnitude 3 or higher, large enough to be felt near the epicenter.

So far, since the 6.1 earthquake, five other earthquakes magnitude 3 or higher have happened in the area, including a 4.6 earthquake north of Sutton around 4 a.m., according to the Earthquake Center report.

“The United States Geological Survey advises everyone to be aware of the possibility of aftershocks, especially when in or around vulnerable structures such as unreinforced masonry buildings,” the report states.

Contact staff writer Alena Naiden at 459-7587. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMlocal.