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Alaska peninsula rocked by largest earthquake to strike United States in more than 50 years

Jessica Schladebeck

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The Alaska peninsula was rocked late Wednesday night by the strongest earthquake to hit the United States since 1965.

The powerful 8.2-magnitude quake struck just more than 50 miles south of Perryville, around 10:15 p.m. local time, according to the US Geological Survey. So far, there have been at least two aftershocks, one with a magnitude of 6.2 while the other measured about 5.6.

“This event was felt throughout the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak,” according to the Alaska Earthquake Center.

Tsunami warnings were issued in wake of the earthquake for parts of south Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands by the National Tsunami Warning Center. An advisory was also issued for southeast Alaska.

The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management at the time tweeted that the State Emergency Operations Center “had been activated and is calling communities in the tsunami warning area.”

All warnings have since been called off, but “strong and unusual currents may continue for several hours,” the National Weather Center warned.

A tsunami watch had also been put in place for Hawaii but was later canceled.

“Based on all available data there is no tsunami threat,” the National Weather Service Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

According to the Alaska Earthquake Center, Wednesday’s quake is the largest to strike the United States in more than 50 years.

“In terms of seismic energy release, the 1965 Magnitude 8.7 was five times as energetic, and the 1964 Magnitude 9.2 Great Alaska Earthquake was 30 times more energetic than tonight’s Magnitude 8.2,” the agency said in a statement.

The Great Alaska Earthquake is the largest ever to hit the United States. In addition to killing 15 people, the quake also triggered a tsunami that left 124 more dead.