7.5 Earthquake Hits Alaskan Coast, Prompts Tsunami Warning
NEAR CRAIG, ALASKA — A tsunami warning was canceled early Saturday for portions of British Columbia, Canada, and southeastern Alaska, officials said.
The warning was issued following a 7.5-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Alaska 63 miles west of Craig, a town on Prince of Wales Island, and 208 miles south of the capital of Juneau, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The size of the temblor, which struck at 3:58 a.m. ET, off the coast of Alaska was downgraded by the USGS from 7.7 to 7.5.
There were no initial reports of damage but the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said a small tsunami of about six inches was observed near the southeastern Alaskan town of Port Alexander on Baranof Island.
A tsunami watch for the coastal areas of the British Columbia-Washington border was also canceled.
Based on available data, the tsunami warning center said there is “no destructive threat” to Hawaii, though it warned that some coastal areas could experience larger waves and strong currents.
On October 27, a tsunami was spawned by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake that struck 86 miles south of Masset on British Columbia’s Queen Charlotte Islands.
The tsunami reached all the way to Hawaii, where sirens were sounded to warn residents to get to higher ground. Visions of the devastating quake and tsunami that killed thousands in Japan in March 2011 fueled the fright, but the waves proved to be smaller and less powerful than feared.
While the warning at the time said waves could surge between 3 and 6 feet, the largest wave, measured in Kahului on the island of Maui, was about 2.5 feet above ambient sea level.