Earthquake rocks island in Alaska's Aleutian chain

ANCHORAGE, Alaska Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:46pm EDT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake rocked one of the few inhabited islands in Alaska's Aleutian chain on Wednesday, but no damage has been found, federal and local officials said.

The magnitude 6.9 quake, centered 80 miles southwest of Adak, struck at 3:40 p.m. local time (7.40 p.m. EDT), the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said. No tsunami warning was issued, but scientists will monitor the area for any possible earthquake-related waves, center Director Paul Whitmore said.

In Adak, a community of about 330, "We definitely felt it," City Manager Layton Lockett said.

The building that houses city offices and the local school, engineered to withstand frequent earthquakes that strike the region, performed as designed, Lockett said.

"You could just hear the building move, and things were shaking," he said.

No damage was found, though officials were concerned about the fate of underground pipes, he said. The school, which has about 20 students, was out of session at the time.

Adak, an island city about 1,300 miles southwest of Anchorage, is a converted U.S. Navy station that once housed 6,000 people. It now operates as a port and seafood-processing center serving the North Pacific commercial fishing fleet.

Other moderate earthquakes have struck western Alaska in recent days, according to the center.

A magnitude 4.9 quake was recorded 90 miles west of the Alaska Peninsula town of Cold Bay on Tuesday. A magnitude 5.2 quake about 90 miles southwest of Kodiak was recorded on September 18.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Beech)

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