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Earth keeps rocking for Southeast Alaskans with 5.5 earthquake

Alaska Dispatch

After a massive earthquake rocked Southeast Alaska just before midnight on Jan. 4, sizeable aftershocks continue to resonate in the area 10 days later. At about 5:55 a.m. Monday, a magnitude 5.5 shaker struck almost the same area, according to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center.

The most recent Southeast earthquake struck 68 miles from the small community of Craig. The larger quake 10 days earlier originated from the same region, known as the Queen Charlotte fault system. This was surprising to geologists and seismologists who have seen little activity in the area in recent years, much less activity on such a large scale. 

The area has seen hundreds of aftershocks, some quite sizeable, including several greater than 4.0 in magnitude. Monday's 5.5 quake may be the largest aftershock yet, though. Previously, the strongest aftershock was a 5.1 that rattled teeth in Southeast just hours after the initial quake.

Prior to the 7.5 shortly after the new year, the Queen Charlotte fault system had last seen a big temblor more than 40 years ago -- a 1972 quake measured at a 7.6.

Keep an eye on the seismic activity in your area, at the Alaska Earthquake Information Center.