Employees with the Alaska region of the United States Geological Survey are being directed to take a leave of absence as a result of the partial shutdown of the federal government.

It's been five days since the shutdown began, affecting roughly 800,000 federal employees, according to CBS News.

Around half of those employees will be asked to work without pay, while the other half will be furloughed, or ordered to take a leave of absence.

USGS is one of nine nonessential agencies being furloughed. The agency, which is responsible for monitoring earthquakes, volcanoes, and flood concerns, will be closed until a budget is agreed on.

Earthquakes and aftershocks have been a large topic of conversation in southcentral Alaska since a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck on Nov. 30. According to USGS, over 4,500 aftershocks have occurred over that time.

Speaking with a USGS employee Wednesday morning, it was relayed that staff at the Alaska Science Center on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus would be out of the building by noon Wednesday.

Data collection is automated, the employee said, so in the event of an emergency or extreme natural disaster, authority could be given to allow necessary USGS employees to return to work.

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