Alaska’s chilly tranquility was interrupted early Tuesday morning by a magnitude-7.9 earthquake detected in the Gulf of Alaska, prompting a tsunami warning for coastal Alaska and British Columbia, as well as the entire west coast of the United States. The earthquake was reported at 12:31 a.m. local time approximately 175 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.
Alaskan residents were sent a text from the National Weather Service reading, “Emergency Alert. Tsunami danger on the coast. Go to high ground or move inland,” while authorities on tsunami.gov advised people to “evacuate inland or to higher ground above and beyond designated tsunami hazard zones or move to an upper floor of a multi-story building… Move out of the water, off the beach, and away from harbors, marinas, breakwaters, bays, and inlets.”
The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management warned residents within three blocks of the Pacific Coast or within five blocks of the San Francisco Bay to prepare to evacuate, “so that you are ready if evacuation is needed,” the agency tweeted… The quake had a depth of about 15 miles, according to the USGS. Previously, the earthquake had been measured at magnitude 8.2.
Heather Rand, who lives in Anchorage (about 290 miles away from Kodiak Island), told CNN that the earthquake was a “very long, slow build up. Creepy, more than anything. Definitely the longest, and I was born here.”