After a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook Alaska about 8:30 a.m. Friday, rumors began flying that a second, larger event was on its way.
It’s possible, but there’s no way of predicting that, said geophysicist Jana Pursley with the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado.
“The risk of larger earthquakes is increased for a few days after a big quake happens,” she said. “There’s always a risk that there could be a second, larger one. But we have no way of saying when, where or even if it’s going to happen.”
She noted that there was an increased chance of a bigger event following the 2014 Napa earthquake in California – a magnitude 6.0 – but it didn’t happen.
Pursley said people living in earthquake-prone areas should have important documents and medications readily available in case they need to evacuate. They should also know how to get in touch with their families or, if necessary, the authorities.
“In events like these, you might expect power outages and cellphone outages, so have a backup plan,” she said.
The USGS’s website at usgs.gov has more information on preparing for an earthquake.
Friday’s earthquake struck north of Anchorage. There’s been no reported tsunami danger.