Earthquake Hits Near Alaska Native-Populated Aleutian Islands
An earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter scale occurred at 2:55 AM local time (6:55 AM Eastern) on Friday, September 2, in the waters near the Fox Islands, in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, at a depth of 22.1 miles below the ocean's surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Alaska Native News describes the earthquake as occurring 27 miles southwest of Amukta Island. Amukta sits halfway between the islands of Nikolkski and Atka.
A USA Today report states that the magnitude of the quake was originally thought to be 7.1 on the Richter scale, but was revised to 6.8. Tsunamis—which are a series of giant waves—can follow large underwater quakes; the USGS initially issued a Tsunami alert, but retracted it. "In Atka, they had a little bump of a wave, but nothing of any kind of a destructive power. Just a wave," said a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Homeland Security, according to an Associated Press report.
The inhabitants of the the region are predominantly Alaska Natives. According to Wikipedia, citing facts from the 2000 Census, the population of Nikolski is 39, with about 70% Native; Atka's population in 2000 was 92, with 80% Native.
According to Alaska Native News, "the general area in which this incident took place [sees] earthquakes every day, although a majority of them have a magnitude less than this."