ALASKA
Strong earthquake rattles North Slope

Alaska’s North Slope was hit Sunday by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the region, the state’s seismologist said.

At 6:58 a.m. Sunday, the magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck an area 42 miles east of Kavik River Camp and 343 miles northeast of Fairbanks, the state’s second-biggest city. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a depth of about 6 miles.

The previous most-powerful quake in the North Slope was in 1995 at magnitude 5.2, state seismologist Mike West said.

The jump from a 5.2 to Sunday’s 6.4 is significant because earthquakes rapidly grow in strength as magnitude rises, he said. A magnitude-6.4 earthquake is 15.8 times bigger and 63.1 times stronger than a 5.2 earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Later Sunday, another magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit at 1:15 p.m. near the city of Kaktovik on Alaska’s North Slope, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The epicenter was southwest of Kaktovik, which has about 290 people.

The Anchorage Daily News said that Alyeska Pipeline said the earthquake did not damage the trans-Alaska pipeline. The company said in a tweet that “there are no operational concerns” related to the earthquake, but the pipeline will be inspected.

Several aftershocks were reported across northern Alaska.

— Associated Press

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— From news services