Tsunami alerts issued after an earthquake off the coast of Alaska have been cancelled or downgraded
Tsunami watches in California, Oregon, Hawaii and Washington have been cancelled
Warnings in place in Alaska and British Columbia have been replaced with advisories
Tsunami alerts issued for the west coast of the U.S. and Canada after an 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck in the Gulf of Alaska have been cancelled or downgraded.
The quake was recorded at 09:31 GMT 175 miles off the coast Kodiak island, Alaska, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
A tsunami warning in effect for Alaska has been downgraded to a tsunami advisory.
Tsunami watches for Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington have been cancelled.
Following the earthquake, the US National Weather Service sent out an alert warning people to take shelter on higher ground.
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Local police in Kodiak urged resident earlier to stay about 100ft, saying: ‘Please remain on high grounds. We will continue to update you as best as we can.’
A police officer asked residents of the island to go to the High School parking lot, or to another spot higher than 100ft from sea level.
Anchorage Office of Emergency Management said this morning that there was an ‘extraordinary threat to life or property’.
A spokesperson said: ‘If you are located in this coastal area, move inland to higher ground. Tsunami warnings mean that a tsunami with significant inundation is possible or is already occurring.’
Anchorage resident Heather Rand told CNN: ‘[The earthquake] was a slow roller, so it was felt for at least a minute before the real rolling started. Nothing fell off the walls and I didn’t have to wake my kiddo.
‘It was a very long, slow build up. Creepy, more than anything. Definitely the longest, and I was born here.’
The NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that, based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, ‘widespread hazardous tsunami waves were possible’.
A Kodiak resident posted a video of an earthquake siren going off. A reporter also said that the police in town warned him that ‘lives are at stake’.
tsunami sirens going off in kodiak after the earthquake, i usually only ever hear the weekly siren test at 2pm on wednesdays so hearing it at 1am on tuesday is actually terrifying!! pic.twitter.com/ea5y7U6xnf
— kylie j (@scarygirI) January 23, 2018
Just called the Kodiak police department
Unprompted: "If this is about the tsunami, going to ask you to get to higher ground."
"Can you talk to a reporter?"
"Keith, do we have time for a reporter right now."
"We're going to have to call you back. Lives at stake."
— Nat Herz (@Nat_Herz) January 23, 2018
Police knocking on doors in Kodiak, sirens going off. People heading to higher ground.
Homer Spit and boat launch being evacuated.
Road out of Seward is packed. Line at gas station huge. People headed north to Bear Creek.
— Jeff Landfield (@JeffLandfield) January 23, 2018
The NWS Tsunami Alert Service shared an image showing the projected path of the possible tsunami.
Tue Jan 23 11:18:49 UTC 2018 event picture pic.twitter.com/ZpFFEWbkvf
— NWS Tsunami Alerts (@NWS_NTWC) January 23, 2018
Here is the buoy which reported a 32 foot water rise shortly after the powerful 8.2 magnitude earthquake just south of Alaska. #TsunamiWarning Alaska and Canadian West Coast pic.twitter.com/TJgipkZ3qk
— Bill Karins (@BillKarins) January 23, 2018
The last earthquake to hit Alaska was in 1964, killing 139 people and incurring an estimated $311 million cost in damage.
It had a magnitude of 9.2 – the largest ever recorded in North America – and struck the southeast coast of Alaska, the Pacific Coast of British Columbia, and west coast of the United States.