Earthquakes rocked the far-flung US State of Alaska today, which has recently been at the mercy of a massive 7.0 magnitude event. The region is constantly under the influence of earthquakes, ranging from mild to severe, traditionally around magnitude 4.0. As such, the state is used to the activity, but has come under severe damage in the past from the tremors and associated tsunamis. Today, a medium range earthquake and collection of smaller tremors rocked the city of Anchorage, the main area affected by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake last week.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a total of 28 earthquakes were monitored in and around Anchorage.
Of the earthquakes, the highest came in at magnitude 4.8, not huge but still powerful enough to cause some shock to the immediate area.
The main tremors took place at 9.45pm on December 6, and a collection of smaller shocks are still going today.
The rest of the earthquakes all came in at around 2.5 to 3.2 magnitude, radiating out from the centre at Anchorage.
USGS has advised the area is generally resistant the the effects of the lower magnitude earthquake, so there is little damage as a result.
However, the geological agency did warn of the possibility of secondary effects from the earthquakes such as landslides and liquefaction, although this has not been observed yet.
They said: “Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist.
“The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick masonry and reinforced masonry construction.”
“Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides and liquefaction that might have contributed to losses.”
“There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.”
Anchorage was among cities in the state which felt the worst of the shocks, but these were still relatively light.
Overall estimated costs of £784,000 ($1 million) are expected in the region, and there have been no reported deaths.
Are earthquakes getting worse every year?
Despite recent reports of dangerous earthquakes in many parts of the World, activity this year has actually been lower than normal.
In 2018, 12,790 earthquakes have shaken the planet so far, a decrease of 70 from the last year, which was on 12,860.
Earthquake numbers in the 12,000 range have been most common for the past 10 years, as there were 12,300 in 2010 and 12,548 in 2012.
The highest number of earthquakes in the last decade took place in 2011, when 15,798 rocked the planet.
This year is also among the lowest for high-magnitude earthquakes, with a total of 12, compared to highs of 21 in 2010.