Major Earthquake Strikes Off Alaska

Jan 23, 2018

By Megan Gannon

Update: This story was updated to indicate the cancellation of the tsunami watches and warnings.

A strong earthquake struck off the southern coast of Alaska early Tuesday (Jan. 23), prompting a tsunami warning, which was later canceled.

The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.9, hit 175 miles (280 kilometers) southeast of the island of Kodiak at 12:31 a.m. local time (4:31 a.m. EST), according to the U.S. Geological Survey(USGS). The quake struck at a depth of about 16 miles (25 km).

Some people on Kodiak felt light shaking, according to community reports sourced by the USGS, but the bigger danger was in the possibility of a tsunami striking afterward.

The Kodiak Police Department urged residents to get to higher ground, and tsunami sirens sounded the alarm in the middle of the night, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

According to the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC), a tsunami warning was in effect along a large stretch of coastline, from Canada’s British Columbia province to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

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