Alaska Earthquake: Why Wasn't There A Tsunami?

The quake hit about 10.30pm New Zealand time

A tsunami alert was issued for much of Alaska and Canada's British Columbia after a magnitude 7.9 natural disaster struck off Alaska's Kodiak Island early on Tuesday morning (Tuesday night NZ Time).

The city of Kodiak was expected to see the first wave by 1:45 am, but when that hadn't hit about two hours after the quake, tsunami warnings for some of the affected areas slowly started dropping.

A powerful quake of magnitude 7.9 struck off the coast of Alaska early yesterday, prompting tsunami warnings or watches as far away as California.

A tsunami alert was issued following a large natural disaster off the coast of Alaska.

"A warning means you need to evacuate, an advisory means you don't go surfing, you don't go hang out on the docks, you don't go boating, you don't go fishing", she said.

"At that point, we began whittling down the areas that are actually placed in alerts", Hale said.

Citizens of Kodiak are accustomed to hearing the tsunami sirens go off every Wednesday at 2pm during its weekly test.

Tsunamis can reach a coast within minutes of an quake.

"It went on long enough that you start thinking to yourself, "Boy, I hope this stops soon because it's just getting worse", Mr Athey said.

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The warning was lifted about three hours later, ending a tense period for some as they made their way to safety on higher ground.

John Bellini, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center, said there had been more than two dozen aftershocks as of about 6:30 a.m. "That was the strongest, longest-lasting one I've ever felt", he said by telephone.

Sirens and officials banging on doors roused people from their sleep in the middle of the night Tuesday in British Columbia as a tsunami warning was issued along a large swath of the province's coastline after a powerful quake in the Gulf of Alaska.

"This is certainly on the larger end of what we see for those types of earthquakes", he said. He described it as a controlled evacuation similar to people driving home from a holiday fireworks show. By 3:50 a.m. the 180 students in residence had all been awakened and efficiently marshalled to higher ground. There hasn't been much damage reported from the quake since it was deeper in the ground and since it was a good distance from the mainland.

That worries emergency managers, who said the 7.9 magnitude quake off the coast of Alaska that triggered the alert is a wake-up call.

There are secondary benefits of warning wide swaths of people, Fode said, because people also warn one another. He says the city's sirens also went off later.

An 8.2-magnitude quake hit the Mexican state of Chiapas on September 7th, 2017.

"I wasn't scared. I was just feeling bothered", he said.

"It's a real reminder that these kinds of events can happen at any time", said Althea Rizzo, a tsunami and natural disaster specialist with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

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