Tsunami Warning Canceled After Earthquake Off Alaska Coast

The tsunami warning that followed a 7.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Alaska was canceled early this morning.

While the earthquake was responsible for generating a tsunami, the warning was ceased after the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center ascertained that the resulting waves were not threatening or damaging.

The US Geological Survey reported that a strong earthquake hit off the Alaskan coast close to midnight on Friday. The 7.5 magnitude quake was centered approximately 60 miles west of Craig, Alaska, reports The Associated Press.

A tsunami warning was issued moments later, affecting an area upwards of 700 miles along the coastal areas of Alaska to the northern point of Vancouver Island, Canada. The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center was able to cancel the warning at approximately 2:00 am on Saturday.

Tsunami advisories were issued briefly for areas stretching from the borders of Washington state and Canada to the Kennedy Entrance located 40 miles southwest of Homer. These advisories saw cancellation close to 1:30 am on Saturday.

The US Geological Survey originally estimated Friday’s earthquake to be a magnitude of 7.7 but later lowered that estimate to a 7.5 magnitude quake with a depth of 6.2 miles. An additional 4.7 magnitude earthquake also struck the area at approximately 12:30 am Saturday which produced a 4.2 aftershock shortly thereafter.

During the span of the tsunami warning police officials did not receive reports of increased wave activity in the affected areas, but some residents took the precaution of evacuating to higher ground.

The Alaska Dispatch writes that the city of Craig, Alaska issued a tweet from their Twitter account shortly before 1:00 am. The message alerted residents that evacuation was voluntary and officials were opening the community’s school and gym to the public for shelter. Less than an hour later they tweeted:

“Evacuation points are standing down. Please continue to be aware of aftershocks that may occur.”

The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center reported a small tsunami sighting by residents of the Port Alexander community following the earthquake. However, wave height was estimated to be only six inches above normal. The center expects fluctuation in sea levels for a brief time in affected areas but do not foresee any related danger.