Alaskan Earthquake Turned Tsunami Warning


Rosalie Weas , Staff Writer

Alaskan Tsunami warnings cancelled because additional information made it clear that the tsunami was not a threat, only after evacuating several Alaskan towns. The warning had Alaskan residents racing to leave their cities in search for higher ground. The National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska reported small waves of “less than 1 foot.”

The cell phone alert read, “Emergency Alert. Tsunami danger on the coast. Go to high ground or move inland. Listen to local news.” This alarm was terrifying even for longtime Alaskan residents  used to tsunami threats and drills.

The minor threat was triggered by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake 175 miles southeast of Kodiak reports CNN. The earthquake was followed by almost 61 aftershocks which did not trigger further tsunami warnings.

There were no reports of damage, even in Kodiak, an Alaskan town that was the closest to the epicenter of the earthquake. A Kodiak resident reported that he felt several shakes for “a good minute.” he followed up with CNN by saying, “The whole town is evacuating.” Police even warned that it was not a drill. Another citizen in Anchorage, which is about 200 miles from Kodiak, told CNN that it was the longest earthquake she had ever experienced.

The tsunami was not as severe as expected because the quake’s center was a strike-slip-fault and was under the ocean. Dave Hennen, a senior meteorologist at CNN said, “That’s a lot less dangerous than a thrust fault, which happens when a plate displaces vertically.”

Both earthquake and Tsunami could have been a lot worse; because of the earthquake’s epicenter and where it rested on the strike-slip-fault, residents remained safe.