Kenai Peninsula rocked by early morning 5.8 quake

May 27, 2019

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the magnitude 5.8 quake’s epicenter (shown as a large red dot in the bottom left corner) was about 60 miles southwest of Homer.
Credit Screenshot of Alaska Earthquake Center

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake early Monday morning woke up Southern Kenai Peninsula residents and visitors in town for Memorial Day Weekend. 

According to the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, the epicenter was about 60 miles southwest of Homer. The quake initially registered as 5.6 magnitude event, but the U.S. Geological Survey later upgraded the temblor to 5.8 magnitude quake.  

The small village of Nanwalek on the tip of the Kenai Peninsula was about 40 miles from the epicenter.  Resident Sally Ash said she was drifting off to sleep when it started.

“I started hearing this noise, this rumbling – seemed like a while and then it started shaking. Some of the stuff fell off my shelf and I jumped out of bed,” Ash said. “I’m kind of used to earthquakes, but I don’t know. This kind of freaked me out a little bit, and I couldn’t go back to sleep for a while.”

Many on social media said books and pictures fell off their shelves and walls during the quake, but no major damage has been reported.

According to the Tsunami Warning Center, the quake was a strike-slip type event, which results in horizontal movement along the seafloor. Strike-slip quakes typically do not generate tsunami waves. The warning center also said the event wasn’t strong enough to generate such an event.