Huge Quake Shakes Alaska; Tsunami Watch in Place

Warning is rolled back after 7.9 quake strikes off Kodiak Island
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 23, 2018 4:36 AM CST
Updated Jan 23, 2018 6:21 AM CST
Tsunami Warning Issued After Huge Quake Off Alaska
This USGS map shows the location of the quake.   (USGS)

A magnitude 7.9 earthquake off Alaska's Kodiak Island early Tuesday prompted a tsunami warning for a large swath of coastal Alaska and British Columbia. That warning was later canceled by the National Tsunami Center, but a watch remained in place for parts of the state, the AP reports. The strong earthquake, first reported as a magnitude 8.2, was recorded about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak Island. Warnings from the National Weather Service sent to cellphones in Alaska warned: "Emergency Alert. Tsunami danger on the coast. Go to high ground or move inland." Kodiak officials warned residents to evacuate if they lived in low-lying areas. People reported on social media that the quake was felt hundreds of miles away, in Anchorage.

Lt. Tim Putney of the Kodiak Police Department says: "We haven't seen anything yet or had any reports of a wave." However, he says, they are still encouraging people below the 100-foot mark to head for shelters. The earthquake woke Putney up out of a dead sleep, and he estimates it shook for at least 30 seconds. "I've been in Kodiak for 19 years and that was the strongest, longest lasting one I've ever felt," he says. Kerry Seifert, an emergency management specialist in the state emergency operations center, says the center had not received any reports of damage as the timeline for initial waves reaching some communities had passed. "This is almost too soon to be into it to get that kind of information," he says. "And certainly, communities are climbing hills, some of them." (Read more Alaska stories.)

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