A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck southern Alaska late Saturday, prompting a brief tsunami advisory that sent residents on high alert. However, monitoring bodies quickly canceled the advisory an hour later, to the relief of those in the affected areas.
The earthquake reverberated over a wide area, including the Aleutian Islands, the Alaskan Peninsula, and the Cook Inlet region, and there was no doubt about its power and magnitude, as confirmed by the Alaska Seismic Center.
Kodiak Residents Respond to Tsunami Warning
In Kodiak, Alaska, the blare of sirens pierced the night air, warning residents of a potential tsunami. Faced with the warning, people hurriedly sought shelter, and the tense moments were captured on social media videos.
Magnitude and location details
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the quake struck at 10:48 p.m. Saturday about 106 kilometers south of Sand Point, Alaska. The earthquake, which initially measured 7.4 on the Richter scale, was later reduced to 7.2.
Tsunami advisory and subsequent cancellation
The US National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning saying the quake struck at a depth of 13 miles (21 km). However, within an hour of the initial warning, the advisory was canceled, allaying fears of a tsunami impact.
Affected Areas and Hawaii’s Safety
The National Weather Service in Anchorage, Alaska, issued a tsunami advisory for coastal Alaska from Chignik Bay to Unimac Pass. Notably, Kodiak Island and the Kenai Peninsula are considered safe from significant impact. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency immediately confirmed that there was no threat to the Hawaiian Islands.
Aftershocks and precautionary measures
KTUU-TV reported that aftershocks, including a 5.0-magnitude temblor, struck the same area of Alaska within three minutes of the main quake. Residents are urged to exercise caution and wait for permission from local emergency officials before reoccupying danger zones.
With the cancellation of the tsunami warning, the emergency risk has decreased, but small changes in sea level are likely. Residents were advised to remain vigilant and monitor updates from local authorities to ensure their safety in the wake of the earthquake event.
(with inputs from AP)