Alaska News

Magnitude 5.9 earthquake shakes Southcentral Alaska

An earthquake with a reviewed magnitude of 5.9 shook Southcentral Alaska on Tuesday afternoon.

The quake was centered near Iliamna Volcano about 138 miles southwest of Anchorage, according to the United States Geological Survey. The quake was reported at a depth of 98.4 miles and shook the region at 1:42 p.m., the USGS said.

The quake, which occurred across Cook Inlet from the Kenai Peninsula, was felt widely throughout much of the state, with reports from as far away as Fairbanks, Kodiak and Valdez.

No immediate damage was reported following the quake, said seismologist Lea Gardine with the Alaska Earthquake Center.

“This one was on the deeper side,” she said. “If it was more shallow, it definitely would have (caused damage), but it’s not uncommon for ones of this size, at this depth, to not cause any significant damage.”

The earthquake did not immediately appear to be an aftershock, Gardine said. It was centered close to where a 7.1 quake occurred in 2016, but Gardine said the earthquakes appear to be separated enough that it is unlikely Tuesday’s quake was an aftershock. The 2016 earthquake destroyed several homes on the Kenai Peninsula and damaged roadways.

Smaller aftershocks from the latest earthquake will occur in coming days and weeks, Gardine said.


“There will be aftershocks,” she said. “But usually on average they tend to be about a magnitude unit lower than the main shock. Again, that’s an average and they could be the same size or very close to. ... It’s definitely possible in the coming days to week that there’ll be a magnitude 4 that will be felt.”

A tsunami was not expected to follow Tuesday’s quake, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center.

Check back for updates.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at