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Rural Alaska

Large earthquake strikes in remote part of northwest Alaska

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 occurred at 1:27 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in the Purcell Mountains about 40 miles south of Shungnak and Kobuk. (Screengrab from Alaska Earthquake Center website)

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 struck northwest Alaska on Tuesday afternoon.

The quake struck at 1:27 p.m. in a remote area of the state about 160 miles southeast of Kotzebue, on the border between the Northwest Arctic Borough and the Yukon–Koyukuk census area, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. The nearest village is Shungnak, about 40 miles north of the epicenter.

Five people had reported to the United States Geological Survey by about 2:15 p.m. that they had felt the earthquake. Earlier, the Alaska Earthquake Center had listed the preliminary magnitude at 5.8 and 5.9. A reviewed magnitude confirmed by a seismologist has not yet been released.

The quake, which measured at a depth of about a third of a mile, was part of an earthquake “swarm" that has produced seven quakes with magnitudes greater than 4.0 since February, according to the earthquake center.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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