7.8 magnitude quake shakes Alaska coast, raises tsunami warning


7.8 magnitude quake shakes Alaska coast, raises tsunami warning

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has issued a tsunami warning in an area of ​​around 186 miles (300 kilometers) around the epicenter, which originated in the sea, at about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) deep since 60 miles south-southeast of the remote town of Perryville.

A preliminary magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the Richter scale occurred Tuesday night (Wednesday morning in Florida) south of the Alaska Peninsula.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has issued a tsunami warning in an area of ​​around 186 miles (300 kilometers) around the epicenter, which originated in the sea, at about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) deep since 60 miles south-southeast of the remote town of Perryville.

"According to the preliminary parameters of the earthquake ... dangerous tsunami waves are possible for the coasts located within 300 km (186 miles) of the earthquake epicenter," said the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The tsunami warning is in effect for the Alaska Peninsula and southern Alaska. "For other Pacific coasts of the United States and Canada in North America, the level of tsunami hazard is being assessed," the report added.

The earthquake was felt hundreds of miles away, from Anchorage, the capital, about 500 miles. Although people in Anchorage may have received tsunami warning alerts, the Anchorage area is not at risk, Louise Fode, warning coordinating meteorologist for the National Weather Service, told the Anchorage Daily News.

Authorities recommend that people in an area under tsunami alert move to higher ground or inland, beyond designated danger zones. Those in those areas should get away from and out of the water, follow the recommendations of local officials, and stay away from shore until the alert is removed and authorities report it is safe.
On the island of Kodiak, northeast of where the epicenter was recorded, tsunami warning sirens have sounded, and residents are moving to higher parts. The Kodiak High School opened its doors to evacuees, as did the local Catholic school.

At the Kodiak Coast Guard base, residents were ordered to head to Aviation Hill, a high ground overlooking the nearby airport. Local public radio station reminded evacuees to wear face masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus, Anchorage reported.


Alarms also sounded in towns such as Homer or Sand Point where the inhabitants have moved to higher areas.

At Sand Point, they were expecting a possible first wave to arrive at around 11:15 p.m. (an hour after the quake occurred), Jordan Keeler, the city manager, told the Anchorage Daily News, but it never happened.

"The first wave did not materialize, which is a great thing," said Keeler, who had been in close contact with public safety personnel at Sand Point.

Alaska is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, seismically active. The strongest earthquake ever in North America, of 9.2 magnitude, occurred there in 1964, devastating Anchorage and unleashing a tsunami in the Gulf of Alaska, the west coast of the United States and Hawaii.

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