Updated: 1/24/2018 3:16:43 AM
Forecasters canceled tsunami warnings for Alaska and the US and Canadian west coasts Tuesday after an earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska stoked fears of damaging waves.
The tsunami alerts were canceled "because additional information and analysis have better defined the threat," said the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska.
Updated: 1/23/2018 4:04:19 AM
San Francisco officials tweeted an urgent message: "If you are w/in SF & 3 blocks of the Pacific Coast or w/in 5 blocks of SF Bay, PREPARE TO EVACUATE SO YOU ARE READY IF EVACUATION IS NEEDED. Check on neighbors who may need help."
Published Tuesday, January 23, 2018
A magnitude 7.9 earthquake has hit the Gulf of Alaska, prompting warnings of tsunami down the Canadian, US and Mexican west coast.
The quake hit around 250 km southeast of Chiniak, Alaska at a depth of 25 km at 9.31am GMT, the US Geological Survey said. It initially said the earthquake had a magnitude of 8.2.
A red tsunami alert was in place for a large part of coastal Alaska and Canada’s British Columbia, while the remainder of the US west coast was under a watch.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said: “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.”
The NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said ”widespread hazardous tsunami waves were possible”.
Warnings from the NWS sent to mobile phones in Alaska said: “Emergency Alert. Tsunami danger on the coast. Go to high ground or move inland.”
“I just found out that I’m in the danger zone for a tsunami after a 8.2-earthquake and we got a warning call and have to evacuate with our horses and I’m so scared I can’t stop shaking,” one west coast resident said.
Earthquake has felt hundreds of miles away in Anchorage.
Alaska Governor Bill Walker said in a statement on Twitter that a blackout at the University of Alaska Fairbanks was making it more difficult to respond to the event.