8.2 magnitude earthquake off Alaskan peninsula, tsunami warning

Published July 29, 2021, 4:31 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

Washington, United States — An 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the Alaskan peninsula late Wednesday, the United States Geological Survey said, prompting a tsunami warning.

The earthquake hit 56 miles (91 kilometers) southeast of the town of Perryville, the USGS said.

The quake struck at 10:15 pm Wednesday (0615 GMT Thursday). Perryville is a small village about 500 miles from Anchorage, Alaska’s biggest city.

The US government’s National Tsunami Warning Center immediately issued a tsunami alert for south Alaska and the Alaskan peninsula.

It initially warned of hazardous waves. About two hours later it gave an update that the forecast maximum height of any tsunami would be less than one foot (30 centimeters) above tide levels.

Tsunami warning sirens were broadcast across Kodiak, an island with a population of about 6,000 people, along Alaska’s coastline.

The warning center said any potential tsunami would hit Kodiak about 11:55 pm.

That time passed without any tsunami, according to a broadcaster on local radio station KMXT.

Videos posted on social media by journalists and residents in Kodiak showed people driving away from the coast as warning sirens could be heard.

A tsunami watch was initially issued for Hawaii, meaning residents were required to stay away from beaches but was lifted about two hours later.

Five aftershocks were recorded within 90 minutes of the earthquake, the largest with a magnitude of 6.2, according to the USGS.

Alaska is part of the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire.

Alaska was hit by a 9.2-magnitude earthquake in March 1964, the strongest ever recorded in North America.

It devastated Anchorage and unleashed a tsunami that slammed the Gulf of Alaska, the US west coast, and Hawaii.

More than 250 people were killed by the quake and the tsunami.

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake also caused tsunami waves in Alaska’s southern coast in October, but no casualties were reported.

 
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