The United States Geological Survey (USGS) on Thursday issued a tsunami warning for Alaska after a shallow 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the Kenai Peninsula.
The warning is in place for parts of South Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula, from Hinchinbrook Entrance to Unimak Pass, and for the Aleutian Islands, from Unimak Pass, and to Samalga Pass, Alaska.
Earthquake in South Alaska
According to the USGS, the earthquake hit 91km southeast of the town of Perryville, with a tsunami warning in effect for south Alaska and the Alaskan peninsula.
According to Dr Alice-Agnes Gabriel, a seismologist at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Germany, the earthquake has an intermediate depth of 35km, which is deeper than USGS’s phase estimate of 23km.
There is still no official information about the injured or possible material damage.
WATCH: Tsunami warning for Alaska
Tsunami warning for Hawaii
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) listed the magnitude as 8.1 – while the US Geological Survey said the quake was magnitude 8.2. The PTWC said “an investigation is underway to determine if there is a tsunami threat to Hawaii”.
“Based on all available data, a tsunami may have been generated by this earthquake that could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicentre,” PTWC explained.
The quake might have caused light to moderate damage, while preliminary seismic data suggests it would have been widely felt by almost everyone in the area of the epicentre.
‘Largest’ earthquake in North America
Tremors were also felt in the city of Kodiak, which is also the capital of one of the seven communities on the island of the same name – the Kodiak Island Borough in Alaska.
According to the testimony of citizens on social media, many have already declared this event the largest earthquake in North America since 1965.
Residents in surrounding areas described the quake as “creepy, scary and disturbing”, and many shared video clips of the tsunami warning on social media.
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