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Quakes hit Pacific coast.

Quakes hit Pacific coast

Only five hours apart, two significant but unrelated earthquakes shook the Pacific coast of North and Central America on Nov. 16. The larger one, measuring between 6.8 and 6.9 on the Richter scale, struck in the Gulf of Alaska, shaking Anchorage, which lies 240 miles to the northwest.

The earlier quake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale, was centered off Nicaragua's west coast, causing slight building damage and several injuries in Managua, 50 miles away.

Because of the magnitude of the Alaskan quake, officials at the Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, issued a tsunami warning 11 minutes after the 11:46 p.m. earthquake. They canceled the warning 1 1/2 hours later, after tide gauges in coastal cities measured an earthquake-generated wave of only a few inches, says George Carte of the Warning Center. By that time, several cities and towns closest to the center of the quake had already moved residents to higher ground.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 21, 1987
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