Notable Earthquake of the Week

Alutains M8.7 Earthquake

At 8:09 pm, Feb. 3, 1965, a powerful earthquake registering M8.7 ripped the west-central segment of the Aleutian Trench, Alaska. The fault rupture zone initiated in the Rat Island Group, (located in the central portion of the Aleutians) and extend westward for nearly 385 miles, to about a third of the distance between the Near and Komandorsky Islands.

It was followed by a vigorous aftershock sequence that lasted years, and included two dozen M6.0s and a pair in the M7.0 range (M7.0, 10:40 pm later that night and M7.6 on March 29).

Only sparse developments were located in the Aleutian Islands at the time, mostly of the military nature, and as a general military policy, only non-structural damage was reported.

A 35 foot high tsunami devastated the coastline of Shemya Island and caused extensive flooding on Amchitka Island.

The quake is considered the sixth strongest earthquake to strike the planet since 1904, and was the third M8.0+ quake to rock the Alaska-Aleutian region in eight years.

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