Alaska natural disaster: Massive 7.4 magnitude quake strikes triggering Tsunami warning

Clay Curtis
October 20, 2020

Wailing sirens prompted residents to seek higher ground in communities along Alaska's southern coast after a reported 7.5 magnitude quake that shook buildings triggered a tsunami warning Monday.

Eerie footage has circulated on social media in which sirens and an emergency announcement can be heard, with a voice stating over a loudspeaker "attention: a tsunami warning has been issued for this area".

The nearest community to the epicentre is Sand Point, Alaska, a small town with fewer than 1,000 residents located about 92 kilometres to the northwest.

The USGS says that the quake had a depth of 40.1 km. The community is about 800 miles (1,288 km) southwest of Anchorage. The warnings have since been canceled. Around 3 p.m. AKDT Monday, the NTWC canceled the warnings and replaced them with tsunami advisories.

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"Tsunami warnings mean that a tsunami with significant inundation is possible or is already occurring", the weather service said.

"The first wave may not be the largest", the NTWC said. It was centred about 67 miles (118 kilometres) southeast of Sand Point, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. An aftershock followed about 20 minutes later, with a magnitude of 5.8, NBC reports. The Great Shakeout was held last Thursday and participants in the event ran through the steps experts advise taking in the event of a real quake.

"We're on very high ground", he said.

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