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Latest: Seismologist: Tsunami Chance Reduced With Quake Type

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska earthquake was a type that usually produces less vertical motion, which means less chance for waves to build for a tsunami. That’s according to Paul Earle, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He says the earthquake was within the Pacific plate and was a so-called “strike-slip earthquake.” That’s the type when one side of the fault slides past another fault, like the San Andreas fault in California. In the Alaska earthquake, Earle says one side went more to the east and one side went more to the west. He says that’s somewhat unusual because quakes in the area are usually thrust earthquakes where one side goes underneath the other. He says those are the type that cause more vertical motion and increase the chance for a tsunami. The Alaska quake was the planet’s strongest since an 8.2 in Mexico in September.