The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake struck near the Aleutian Islands, which lie in a seismically active area off the coast of Alaska.Credit...
© NOAA
The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake struck near the Aleutian Islands, which lie in a seismically active area off the coast of Alaska.Credit...
The earthquake was reported near a sparsely populated area of the Aleutian Islands, a seismically active area.

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck off the coast of a remote area of southern Alaska on Tuesday, but there were no warnings of a tsunami that could threaten the region's sparsely populated string of islands.

The earthquake was reported just after 7 a.m. local time, about 24 miles southeast of Nikolski, a census-designated area of the Aleutian Islands that had a population of 18 people in 2010, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Earthquakes of that magnitude are not unusual in the Aleutian Islands, which lie in a seismically active region where two plates, the Pacific and the Eurasian, push against each other. "Alaska is more seismically active than California," said Don Blakeman, a seismologist with the National Earthquake Information Center, part of the U.S. Geological Survey, in Golden, Colo.

"The reason the danger is very, very low is because very few people live out in the Aleutians," he said.

"It was felt by some of the people on that island," he added, referring to the reports that came in to the U.S. Geological Survey shortly after the earthquake. "For where it was located, that is actually quite a few."