Thursday 17 April 2014

Tsunami warning after earthquake off coast of Alaska

A TSUNAMI warning was issued for coastal areas of southeast Alaska and British Columbia after an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude struck in the Pacific Ocean today.

The quake occurred about 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Port Alexander, southern Alaska, at a depth of about 6 miles (10 km) at 0858 GMT, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which downgraded the magnitude from an initial 7.7.

The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, put out a tsunami warning for areas stretching from northern Vancouver Island in Canada to Cape Suckling, 75 miles southeast of the Prince William Sound town of Cordova, Alaska.

Waves were expected to hit first in Langara, in Canada's British Columbia province, and later in the morning farther north and west, possibly reaching as far as Homer on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, the center said.

The tsunami warning was likely to be in effect for at least four hours, earthquake center scientist Bill Knight said. So far there had been no reports of damage from the earthquake.

Officials in Sitka, southern Alaska, were urging evacuations in low-lying areas, local radio station KCAW reported.

An earthquake of magnitude 7.7 struck British Columbia on Oct. 27. A tsunami warning was issued but no damage ensued.

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