An earthquake of magnitude 8.2 struck off the coast of Alaskan peninsula on Thursday morning, triggering a tsunami warning that was ultimately lifted, according to the USGS. The quake was so powerful that it may have been the highest richter-scale earthquake in Alaska in close to 50 years, according to an official.
The quake struck at 10.15pm local time on Wednesday (6.15am Thursday GMT) with its epicentre around 50 miles south-east of Perryville on the Alaskan Peninsula at a depth of 35km, according to the USGS.
“This was the strongest earthquake since 1964 and our 3rd evacuation in 18 months. But we are all good and grateful now,” Kodiak, Alaska Mayor Pat Branson told CNN.
Tsunami warnings were issued for the US Pacific territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Warnings were also issued for Hawaii and southern parts of Alaska, the Peninsula, and Pacific coastal areas from Hinchinbrook Entrance to Unimak Pass.
#BREAKING : 8.2 strong #earthquake rocks the coast of #alaska. #tsunami warning. This is the strngst #earthquake after 2018. Pray for the people of Alaska. Stay strong. Prayer🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/qDLZwo1xu1
— cheikaba h (@CheikabaH) July 29, 2021
The USGS has also recorded a string of aftershocks around the original epicentre, ranging in intensity up to 6.2-magnitude. Another has measured 5.6.
Early visuals are being shared on social media purporting to show the moment the quake struck, though The Independent has been unable to immediately verify them. One appears to show the interior of a house shaking and loud crashes as a family cries out.
🚨#BREAKING: The 8.2 earthquake is the largest to strike the United States since 1965
📌#Alaska l #US
Warning sirens are now blaring along the Alaskan coastline as waves approach.
The Tsunami Warning System is still calculating possible further risks to the Hawaiian Islands pic.twitter.com/rzzVI4txUD
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) July 29, 2021