Tsunami Warning Cancelled After Earthquake Off Alaska Coast
January 6, 2013

Earthquake Causes Brief Tsunami Warnings In Parts Of Alaska, British Columbia

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Residents of Alaska and parts of Canada were briefly under a tsunami warning on Saturday after a strong earthquake rocked the region, but the alert was later cancelled because no potentially destructive waves resulted from the trembler.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the magnitude 7.5 seismic event took place approximately 58 miles west of Craig, Alaska at approximately midnight local time (08:58:19 UTC).

The agency said the quake, which occurred "off the west coast of southeastern Alaska," was likely due the result of "shallow strike-slip faulting on or near the plate boundary between the Pacific and North America plates."

The NOAA's National Weather Service Tsunami.gov issued the first tsunami warning a few minutes later, saying a tsunami "with significant widespread inundation of land" was expected.

They also warned "widespread dangerous coastal flooding accompanies by powerful currents" was possible in some coastal areas of Alaska and British Columbia.

The warning was cancelled roughly two hours after the initial quake, as the National Weather Service declared that even though the earthquake did trigger a tsunami, it did not "pose a threat" to the area.

"After one community reported seeing just a small wave, the police in the coastal town of Cordova said they had no reports of any problems," the Associated Press (AP) reported. "The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the quake was widely felt but it received no reports of any damage."

USGS seismologist Jana Pursely also told AP reporter Gerry Mullany that the initial earthquake had been followed by six aftershocks, the strongest of which came four hours later and measured magnitude 5.1. Craig Police Chief Robert Ely added that houses in that city shook, but that no injuries had been reported.

"In addition to the warning, a tsunami advisory was briefly in effect for some coastal areas north and south of the warning zone, including a stretch from the Washington State border to the northern tip of Vancouver Island," the wire service added.