Seismologist to Alaskans: Expect aftershocks for months, maybe years

Aftershocks recorded by the Alaska Earthquake Center website.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - It's been one week since the massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook Southcentral, rattling houses and tearing up city roads.

In the wake of yet another day with high magnitude quakes felt in Southcentral Alaska, many residents were left wondering when the tremors will stop. According to a seismologist, it could be years.

Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the California Institute of Technology, spoke with CNN last week. According to her, the aftershocks won't stop for months, and maybe even years.

On Thursday, a 4.8 magnitude aftershock was felt in the Southcentral area at 12:45 p.m., and right after that, another 4.7 was recorded.

All week ,sizable shakes of that magnitude have been felt. However, most of the aftershocks recorded by the United States Geological Survey have been far lower, so as to be almost imperceptible. According to Jones, that's normal.

”We think the number dies off with time, but the relative distribution from large to small is constant,” and weeks to months later, aftershocks will follow, she explained to CNN.

An example Jones gave was the last 5-magnitude aftershock following the 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake. According to Jones, that aftershocks was three years after the original event.

Following last week's 7.0 quake, nearly 3,000 aftershocks have been recorded, with no end in sight.

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