Huge Magnitude 7.8 Earthquake Strikes Alaska
An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 struck off southern Alaska’s coast late Tuesday, shaking the Alaska Peninsula and briefly sparking tsunami concerns before officials said no destructive waves were coming. The earthquake was centered in the Pacific Ocean about 60 miles southeast of Perryville on the sparsely populated Alaska Peninsula, striking around 10:12 p.m. local time (2:12 a.m. Wednesday ET). The Alaska Peninsula protrudes from mainland Alaska and is flanked to the southwest by the Aleutian Islands. Reports of significant damage, if any, weren’t immediately available. A tsunami warning initially was issued for south Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula, but was canceled by early Wednesday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The warning sent people to higher ground in cities like Sand Point, an island community of about 1,000 people off the peninsula, the Anchorage Daily News reported. People in Sand Point gathered at a high school until shortly after midnight, when officials gave an all-clear, Jordan Keeler, an Anchorage-based city administrator, told the newspaper.
More than 20 aftershocks followed the quake late Tuesday to early Wednesday, ranging from magnitudes of 2.8 to 6.1.