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Anchorage

Sunday’s magnitude 4.2 aftershock was the biggest in days

A look at the aftershocks from the Nov. 30 earthquake as of Sunday evening. The larger red dot shows the automatic location of the 4.2 aftershock that rattled Anchorage and Mat-Su on Sunday. (Screengrab of Alaska Earthquake Center website)

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.2 rattled Anchorage and Mat-Su at 5:04 p.m. Sunday, the biggest aftershock to hit the area in about a week.

The Alaska Earthquake Center said the quake was centered 19 miles northwest of Anchorage, in the Big Lake area.

Since the 7.0 earthquake that caused widespread damage in Anchorage and Mat-Su on Nov. 30, at least 4,000 aftershocks have been recorded, according to the earthquake center. (Track the latest aftershocks here.)

Most have been too small to feel, but at least two dozen have been larger than a 4.0, according to the earthquake center. The last aftershock of magnitude 4.0 or higher to originate in the same area was a 4.8 shaker the morning of Dec. 9, according to the earthquake center.

Aftershocks are normal after tectonic earthquakes, seismologists say.

“For an earthquake of this size, we expect the aftershocks to continue for a few months," Natalia Ruppert of the Alaska Earthquake Center has said. "The rate of the aftershocks, however, will be going down with time.”

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