“The biggest threat would be any potential tsunami risk,” a USGS geophysicist said.
Tsunami warnings were issued for parts of Alaska after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 struck off the peninsula’s coast early Thursday.
The tremblor struck around 50 miles south of Perryville, a small town of 100 or so people around 500 miles to the south and west of Anchorage, Robert Sanders, a USGS geophysicist said.
#BREAKING : 8.2 strong #earthquake rocks the coast of #alaska. #tsunami warning. This is the strngst #earthquake after 2018. Pray for the people of Alaska. Stay strong. Prayer🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/qDLZwo1xu1
— cheikaba h (@CheikabaH) July 29, 2021
“There could be damage and injuries from an event of this magnitude,” he said, adding that the sparsity of the population mitigated that risk but did not remove it.
“The biggest threat would be any potential tsunami risk,” he said.
Tsunami warnings were put in place for parts of south Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands by the National Tsunami Warning Center. A tsunami advisory was also issued for southeast Alaska, but the National Weather Service said there was no tsunami threat to Anchorage.
🚨#BREAKING: The 8.2 earthquake is the largest to strike the United States since 1965
Warning sirens are now blaring along the Alaskan coastline as waves approach.
The Tsunami Warning System is still calculating possible further risks to the Hawaiian Islands pic.twitter.com/rzzVI4txUD
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) July 29, 2021
“For other U.S. and Canadian Pacific coasts in North America, the level of tsunami danger is being evaluated,” it said in a bulletin.
The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management tweeted that the State Emergency Operations Center “had been activated and is calling communities in the tsunami warning area.”
Thu Jul 29 06:23:22 UTC 2021 event picture pic.twitter.com/UQwlRCmRlk
— NWS Tsunami Alerts (@NWS_NTWC) July 29, 2021
A tsunami watch was also issued for Hawaii by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, although it was later canceled.
Sanders said the earthquake was initially measured at 7.2 magnitude but later revised up to 8.2. That was not “an uncommon occurrence,” he said.
— Blue Waters Camping (@bluewaterscamp) July 29, 2021
Two other earthquakes with preliminary magnitudes of 6.2 and 5.6 occurred in the same area within a half-hour of the first one, according to the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
He added that in July 2020 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake happened in the same region.