Another powerful earthquake shook the Northwest Arctic on Friday. It is the fourth magnitude 5.5 quake to rock the region in six weeks. Like the previous three, Friday’s episode was initiated about 10 miles from Noatak and was measured at a depth of 10 miles.
“The whole house shook,” said Herbert Walton, the tribal administrator in Noatak. “We’re concerned.”
Walton said there was no major damage or injuries that he was aware of, though the first set of quakes in mid-April did cause a few cracks in the IRA building.
“There are plenty of people wondering if there is going to be a bigger one, because every time it happens, they seem to be getting bigger,” Walton said.
The first two quakes happened on April 18, while the third shook the area on May 3. All four were about the same magnitude and are now being referred to as an “earthquake swarm,” said Mike West, a seismologist with the Alaska Earthquake Center.