Tsunami Warning Lifted After Magnitude 7.2 Quake Strikes Alaska Peninsula

Alaska Earthquake Tsunami Warning
Alaska Earthquake Tsunami Warning

Late Saturday, 15 July 2023, a massive 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck near the Alaska Peninsula.

According to preliminary data, the quake occurred roughly 55 miles southwest of Sand Point, Alaska, according to the National Weather Service. It was initially measured as a magnitude of 7.4, according to the US Geological Survey on Twitter.

It happened around 10:48 p.m. local time. According to a video posted on social media, sirens were heard late at night in Kodiak, Alaska.

The tremor prompted the National Weather Service in Anchorage to issue a brief tsunami warning, warning of “significant inundation,” which was later reduced to an advisory before being canceled entirely early Sunday.

“A tsunami was generated by this event, but no longer poses a threat,” the NWS National Tsunami Warning Center said.“Some areas may continue to see small sea level changes.”

The center’s earlier update had been an advisory, urging locals near the coast to “move off the beach and out of harbors and marinas.”

Weather officials had issued a brief tsunami warning prior to the advisory, listing times spanning around 90 minutes when tsunami waves were likely to impact the shore “from Chignik Bay to Unimak Pass.”

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“Significant inundation is possible or already occurring,” the service’s Anchorage office said on Twitter in announcing the earlier warning. “Move inland to higher ground.”

According to the state’s Management Agency, there was no tsunami threat in Hawaii. The earthquake occurred near the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone, which is prone to significant earthquakes, according to USGS officials in a synopsis of the occurrence.

“Since 1900, nine other earthquakes M7 and larger have occurred within 250 km of the July 16, 2023, event,” USGS said.

On April 1, 1946, an 8.6-magnitude earthquake struck about 93 miles away, triggering a tsunami that “devastated the lighthouse on Unimak Island and swept away its five occupants,” according to USGS authorities. According to the report, tsunamis from the quake killed an additional 159 people in Hawaii and one person in California.

Officials stated a 9.2-magnitude earthquake in the Alaska-Aleutian Trench on March 27, 1964, was the second strongest ever recorded by current seismic instruments.

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