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Alaska under tsunami warning after 8.2 magnitude earthquake


By Madeline Holcombe and Joe Sutton, CNN

Parts of Alaska are under tsunami advisories after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the state’s coast, according to preliminary data from the US Geological Survey.

The very strong quake was located about 56 miles (91 kilometers) east southeast of Perryville, Alaska, and occurred around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday night local time, USGS said.

At 29 miles deep (46.7 km), the earthquake is considered shallow. Shallow earthquakes are between 0 and 70 km in depth.

“This event was felt throughout the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak,” according to the Alaska Earthquake Center.

There have been at least two strong aftershocks, including a preliminary magnitude 6.2 and magnitude 5.6, the USGS reports.

A tsunami warning had been issued for portions of the state shortly after the quake, according to the US National Tsunami Warning Center, which said in an update, “A tsunami has been confirmed and some impacts are expected.”

The areas under advisory included South Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula, from Hinchinbrook Entrance, (90 miles east of Seward) to Unimak Pass, and for the Aleutian Islands, from Unimak Pass (80 miles northeast of Unalaska), to Samalga Pass, Alaska, which is 30 miles southwest of Nikolski.

Police in Kodiak, the largest town on the island of Kodiak, advised residents after the quake to move to high ground, adding that the high school was open as an evacuation location.

As the alerts changed from warnings to advisories, the Kodiak Police Department said in a message, “Kodiak has been downgraded to Tsunami Advisory status however we are not all clear.”

Kodiak is near the northwestern tip of Kodiak Island, which is the largest island in Alaska and is the second-largest island in the US.

A tsunami watch had been issued for Hawaii but was later canceled. “Based on all available data there is no tsunami threat,” the National Weather Service Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

The level of tsunami danger is being evaluated for other US and Canadian Pacific coasts in North America, according to the NWS.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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