SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

7.5-magnitude earthquake strikes off coast of Southeast Alaska

By Mary Kauffman, SitNews


January 05, 2013
Saturday AM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Two 7.7 earthquakes shook the islands of Southeast Alaska just before midnight Friday at 11:58 pm within seconds of each other. Residents of Ketchikan reported feeling both quakes. There were no initial reports of damage but the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said shortly after midnight that a "tsunami with significant widespread inundation of land is expected."

jpg 7.5-magnitude earthquake strikes off coast of Southeast Alaska

The 7.7 magnitude quake struck at a depth of 6 miles about 63 miles west of the Prince of Wales town of Craig, and about 124 miles west of Ketchikan, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The two quakes were later reported as one and the magnitude was later downgraded by the U.S. Geological Survey from 7.7 to 7.5.

Immediately following the quake a tsunami warning was issued for the coastal areas of British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska from the northern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia to Cape Fairweather, Alaska (80 miles southeast of Yakutat). By 2:00 am Saturday, the tsunami warning was cancelled for these coastal areas.

According to the National Weather Service, a tsunami was generated by this event but did not pose a threat to these areas. The Weather Service noted that some areas may see small seal level changes. However, the decision to re-occupy hazard zones must be made by local authorities said the National Weather Service.

By 1:40 am Saturday, several aftershocks were reported with magnitudes ranging from 4.1 to 4.8.


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