People were alerted by text messages and those in affected areas have been urged to seek high ground
A powerful earthquake having magnitude 8.2 struck about 250 kilometres southeast of Chiniak, Alaska, early today. Authorities prompted warnings of a possible tsunami down the west coast of North America.
However, the tsunami alerts were cancelled “because additional information and analysis have better defined the threat”.
“A tsunami was generated by this event, but no longer poses a threat,” a message from the United States National Tsunami Warning Center said just after 4 a.m. in Alaska.
The quake struck 157 miles (256km) south-east of Chiniak, Alaska and Emergency sirens sounded in Kodiak, a town of 6,100 people on Alaska’s Kodiak Island, one of the closest settlements to the epicentre.
According to US geological survey, It was centred about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, at a depth of 15 miles, at the west coast of British Columbia in Canada.
Kodiak officials warned residents to evacuate if they lived in low-lying areas. Residents scrambled to safety, and some sought refuge in schools that were transformed into shelters.
According to Alaska Gov Bill Walker, he has been in contact with local officials and the state’s adjutant general, and he urged residents to heed any warnings to move inland or to higher ground.
People were alerted to the danger by text messages and those in affected areas have been urged to seek high ground.
The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management had tweeted that people within three blocks of the Pacific Coast or five blocks of the San Francisco Bay should be prepared to evacuate.
According to latest report despite fears the earthquake would impact the entire US west coast, tsunami warnings and watches were gradually downgraded and, people in Kodiak were given the all-clear.
However, Authorities said people should move away from the water, off beaches, and away from harbours, marinas, breakwaters, bays and inlets. Boat operators should move their boats out to sea to a depth of at least 55 metres.