Magnitude-6.2 earthquake, aftershocks rattle corner of Canada, Alaska

USGS map

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A magnitude-6.2 earthquake rattled the corner of British Columbia near the boundary with southeastern Alaska early Monday, waking people up and setting off a series of aftershocks, including a magnitude-6.3, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Agency geophysicist Amy Vaughan said it’s not completely uncommon for an aftershock to be larger than the triggering quake, though normally the following quakes are smaller. Other aftershocks ranged from magnitudes 2 to 5.

They struck roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of the tiny Alaska town of Mosquito Lake and about 83 miles (134 kilometers) southwest of Whitehorse, Canada.

Vaughan said the shallow initial quake has the potential to cause damage but that the remote location dropped the chances of major problems.

“If people were asleep, they certainly would be jarred awake by this,” she said, adding that the quake also would have knocked items off shelves.

Jaimie Lawson, a 911 dispatcher with the Skagway Police Department, said the remote town 55 miles (89 kilometers) away did not receive any reports of damage or injuries from the initial quake.

Computers slid around in the mobile home that houses police operations in the valley town of 800, she said, and it was the first earthquake she felt that forced her to stand up to get her bearings.

She said she had spoken to police in the town of Haines about 30 miles south and they also had not gotten reports of injuries or damage from the first quake.

The geological survey website has recorded hundreds of reports of people feeling the shaking.