Powerful Alaska earthquake, tsunami warning issued but later lifted | News | DW | 23.01.2018
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Powerful Alaska earthquake, tsunami warning issued but later lifted

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska triggered a tsunami warning in the US state and parts of Canada, which has now been lifted. The epicenter of the quake was detected east of Chiniak Island.

US authorities issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas of Alaska after an 7.9 earthquake hit the Gulf of Alaska on Tuesday, before withdrawing the alert several hours after the quake. Parts of Canada's British Columbia also issued a warning soon after the tremor.

"If you are located in this coastal area, move inland to higher ground," the Anchorage Office of Emergency Management said. "Tsunami warnings mean that a tsunami with significant inundation is possible or is already occurring."

"The first wave may not be the largest," the officials added.

Scientists located the epicenter of the earthquake some 280 kilometers (174 miles) southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, at a depth of 10 kilometers. The US Geological Survey previously measured the quake's magnitude at 8.2 before revising it to 7.9. The National Weather Service sent out an alert to cellphones in Alaska, reading: "Emergency Alert, Tsunami danger on the coast, Go to high ground or move inland."

Hawaii also briefly on 'tsunami watch'

Authorities also issued a a lower-level "tsunami watch" warning for the entire US West Coast and Hawaii, which was lifted hours later as data from ocean buoys indicated no threat.

The quake hit early in the morning local time.

Alaska was also the site of the 9.2 earthquake which caused a tsunami and killed 139 people in the sparsely populated state in 1964. The event remains the strongest earthquake to have hit the US.

dj/rt (AFP, AP, dpa)

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