Updated 12:14AM: A tsunami warning for southern Alaska and northern British Columbia has been downgraded to an advisory, while a warning has been issued for Hawaii. In addition, the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center says parts of coastal Oregon and Northern California have been placed under a tsunami advisory. The alerts came after the U.S. Geological Survey said a 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit in the Queen Charlotte Islands area Saturday night. A tsunami warning means an area is likely to be hit by a wave, while an advisory means an area could be hit. (AP) Click to read more...
A small tsunami was barely noticeable in the small community of Craig, Alaska, where a four-inch wave was recorded. The warnings had been sparked by a strong earthquake Saturday night off the west coast of Canada. The U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit in the Queen Charlotte Islands area, followed by a 5.8-magnitude aftershock several minutes later. The National Weather Service issued a warning for coastal areas of southeast Alaska including Craig. The U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska tried to warn everyone with a boat on the water to prepare for a potential tsunami. Also included in the original warning were Northern California, Oregon and Washington state. An advisory on the website of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said coastal areas of Hawaii would also see small changes in sea level and strong or unusual currents for several hours after 10 p.m. Hawaii time, Bloomberg News reported.
Bill Knight at the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said any forecast that includes waves of 1 foot to 3 1/2 feet qualifies for an advisory threat level, which does not mean a full-fledged evacuation. "It does mean pulling back from harbors, marinas, getting off the beach," Knight said. The state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management activated its emergency operations center and notified officials in southeast Alaska communities. Lt. Bernard Auth of the Juneau Command Center said the Coast Guard was also working with local authorities to alert people in coastal towns to take precautions. Lucy Jones, a USGS seismologist, said the earthquake likely would not generate a large tsunami.
"This isn't that big of an earthquake on tsunami scales," she said. "The really big tsunamis are usually up in the high 8s and 9s." She said the earthquake occurred along a "fairly long" fault -- "a plate 200 kilometers long" in a subduction zone, where one plate slips underneath another. Such quakes lift the sea floor and tend to cause tsunamis, she said.
Updated: A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck off the coast of western Canada on Saturday and a tsunami warning was issued, authorities said. There were no immediate reports of damage. The U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado said the quake hit the Queen Charlotte Islands Saturday evening and was centered 96 miles (155 kilometers) south of Masset, British Columbia. (AP)
The National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas of British Columbia and southern Alaska. It said the warning area included Craig and Sitka, Alaska. The USGS said the 7.7-magnitude quake shook the area and was followed by a 5.8 magnitude aftershock several minutes later. The U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska said it was trying to warn everyone with a boat on the water to prepare for a potential tsunami. Lt. Bernard Auth of the Juneau Command Center says the Coast Guard was also working with local authorities to alert people in coastal towns to take precautions.
The earthquake occurred 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Sandspit, British Columbia on the Haida Gwaii archipelago, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. Port Clements Golden Spruce hotel operator Urs Thomas said there was no warning before everything began moving inside and outside the hotel. He said it last about three minutes. "It was a pretty good shock," Thomas, 59, said. "I looked at my boat outside. It was rocking. Everything was moving. My truck was moving." After the initial jolt, Thomas began to check the hotel.
"The fixtures and everything were still swinging," he said. "I had some picture frames coming down." Natural Resources Canada said in a statement that a major earthquake was felt across much of north and central British Columbia but that there were no immediate reports of damage.
A magnitude-7.7 earthquake has struck off the coast of western Canada and a tsunami warning has been issued. There are no immediate reports of damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado says the quake hit the Queen Charlotte Islands at 11:14 p.m. Sunday local time (0314 GMT) and was centered 96 miles (155 kilometers) south of Masset, British Columbia.
The National Weather Service has issued a warning for coastal areas of British Columbia, southern Alaska, Northern California, Oregon and Washington state. It says the warning area includes Craig and Sitka, Alaska
The USGS says the 7.7-magnitude quake shook the area and was then followed by a 5.8-magnitude aftershock several minutes later. (AP)