A series of significant May earthquakes and their aftershocks are being examined by seismologists, who say Alaska is markedly above its usual rate of earthquakes for the month. Alaska Earthquake Center seismologist Natalia Ruppert said Alaska typically experiences a “background level” of 35,000 earthquakes each year, plus any significant earthquakes and their aftershocks.

The center typically sees about 3,000 quakes statewide in a month — but May has been well ahead of that pace, Ruppert said. “Right now, with the aftershocks, we recorded close to the monthly average in just the first 10 days,” Ruppert said. The catalog of May temblors as of Wednesday included at least three larger than a 6, seven larger than a 5 and 50 larger than a 4 on the Richter scale, according to an overview compiled by the earthquake center’s Ian Dickson. READ MORE