JUNEAU, Alaska - A powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck remote southern Alaska early on Sunday, unleashing shudders felt several hundred miles (km) from the tremor's lakefront epicenter at the far end of Cook Inlet from Anchorage, the state's largest city.
No injuries were reported, but several neighborhoods in the town of Kenai - roughly halfway between the quake's center and Anchorage - were temporarily evacuated after a gas explosion damaged four homes several hours later, a city spokesman said.
As of Sunday night, local utility company Enstar was still investigating whether the earthquake triggered a gas leak believed to have caused the blast, company spokesman John Sims said.
There were also reports of brief power outages in Anchorage, about 160 miles (257 km) southwest of the epicenter, and cities immediately to the north and south.
The quake, initially reported at a 7.3 magnitude, struck at 1:30 a.m. about 30 miles (48 km) east-southeast of Pedro Bay on the shore of Iliamna Lake, at the foot of a mountain chain just west of Cook Inlet, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported.