Powerful underwater quake off Norwegian Arctic island
Copenhagen, Denmark – A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 struck in the Arctic Ocean Friday, northwest of a largely uninhabited and remote Norwegian island, officials said. No injuries or damage were reported.
The Norwegian earthquake center NORSAR says the quake was recorded at 2:49 a.m. in the sea between the volcanic island of Jan Mayen and Greenland, a Danish territory. The tremor was centered some 74 miles off Jan Mayen at a depth of approximately 6.2 miles, NORSAR said.
Norway’s news agency NTB said there were 18 people on the island – military and meteorological institute staff – who were woken by the quake. The island has no permanent residents.
One of those on the island, Silje Wennesland, told NTB that “I had my heart in my throat when I woke up because the mirror and the cabinets shook.”
NORSAR said aftershocks are expected but no tsunami warning was issued.
“Fortunately, no one was injured, and everyone is fine, but we noticed it,” Wennesland told NTB. “It has happened before, and this was quite powerful,” she said, adding the tremor lasted for 30 seconds.
The police in Bodoe, above the Arctic Circle, which handles the Jan Mayen island, tweeted that no casualties or damages had been reported, adding it required “no action on our part.”
Friday’s quake was not felt on mainland Norway, according to Norwegian media.
NORSAR said the quake was one of the strongest registered. Since 1970, about 10 quakes have been registered in the region with a magnitude of 6 or higher. The previous such quake was recorded Aug. 30, 2012, and had a magnitude of 6.6.
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