Wed, 16 May 2012 11:02 CDT
The Semidi Islands lie close to the faultline, and an earthquake could send a tsunami towards Hawaii and California
According to Discovery.com, scientists are now investigating the underwater fault-line in the hope of estimating the likelihood of danger to the U.S. and to the Hawaiian islands.
The last time a slip between the Alaskan plates occurred led to the Good Friday Earthquake, on March 27, 1964, which was the powerful earthquake in U.S. history – a 9.2 magnitude earthquake which led to 145 deaths.
Tsunamis also occurred in this area in 1947 and 1957, while a magnitude 7.4 earthquake occurred in the area last June, but as its location did not lead to a tsunami, a brief tsunami warning was recalled shortly afterwards.
Many of these deaths happened hundreds of miles away from the epicentre of the earthquake – with 90 per cent of the deaths caused by tsunamis.
The Japanese quake, which measured 9.0 magnitude, led to a 10-metre-high tsunami and ended up killing an estimated 18,000 people.