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Alaska earthquake: Tsunami warnings downgraded for US and Canada coasts

Alaska earthquake: Tsunami warnings downgraded for US and Canada coastsTsunami warnings have been downgraded after a powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off Alaska. The quake hit 157 miles south east of the town of Kodiak at about 9.30am GMT on Tuesday (12.30am local time). It was in the Gulf of Alaska at a depth of 6.2 miles (10km), the US Geological Survey reported. The earthquake prompted a tsunami warning for coastal Alaska and the west coast of British Columbia in Canada. Less severe tsunami watches were issued for the US west coast - the entire coasts of California and Oregon and part of Washington state. Gulf of Alaska earthquake - locator map However, the National Tsunami Center cancelled a series of tsunami alerts after waves failed to materialise in coastal Alaskan communities. Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, earlier issued an extreme warning, saying there was "extraordinary threat to life or property". The alert told people living on the coast to "go to high ground or move inland".  But tsunami watches were at about 12.30pm GMT ( 3.30am local time) cancelled for British Columbia in Canada, Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii.  Mickey Varnadao, a computer specialist with the warning centre in Palmer, Alaska, said that an advisory remains in effect for parts of Alaska, from Kodiak Island to Prince William Sound.  Video earlier posted on social media showed streams of cars queuing in Kodiak as people evacuated the town. #akearthquake evacuating kodiak pic.twitter.com/Vlf0md3Qxz— Jupiter (@Jupiter00000) January 23, 2018 About two hours after the quake, there had been no reports of a wave hitting Kodiak, which was projected to see the first hit at about 1.45am (10.45am GMT). Lt Tim Putney, of the Kodiak Police Department, said: "We haven't seen anything yet or had any reports of a wave." However, officials were telling people to remain at evacuation centres until they were told otherwise. He said the town has several shelters above 100ft and people below that level were being encouraged to move to higher ground. A map issued by the US National Tsunami Warning Center showed the at-risk areas. Tue Jan 23 10:07:47 UTC 2018 event picture pic.twitter.com/qeKKqFTysB— NWS Tsunami Alerts (@NWS_NTWC) January 23, 2018 Earlier, the US National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said "widespread hazardous tsunami waves were possible" on coastal areas "even far from the epicentre". After the earthquake struck, a buoy in the Gulf of Alaska reportedly recorded a 32ft (10m) water surge. Data showed the water height reduced soon afterwards.  Here is the buoy which reported a 32 foot water rise shortly after the powerful 8.2 magnitude earthquake just south of Alaska. #TsunamiWarning Alaska and Canadian West Coast pic.twitter.com/TJgipkZ3qk— Bill Karins (@BillKarins) January 23, 2018 People reported on social media that the quake was felt hundreds of miles away in Anchorage.  Some living on the coast of Alaska were sent tsunami warnings telling them: "Go to high ground or move inland." Earthquake shook ground 'for at least 30 seconds' Kodiak police chief Tim Putney said he was woken by the earthquake, which he estimated shook for at least 30 seconds. "I've been Kodiak for 19 years that was the strongest, longest lasting one I've ever felt," he said. But he said the police department has received no reports of damage, adding: "We have people with their eyes on the sea, from a safe distance." Heather Rand, who was 360 miles away in Anchorage, told CNN it felt like the longest earthquake she had ever experienced. "It was a very long, slow build up. Creepy, more than anything. Definitely the longest, and I was born here," she said, adding the only damage was cracks in the wall. 'Move inland to higher ground... the first wave may not be the largest' In a warning for Alaska and British Columbia, the Anchorage Office of Emergency Management said: "If you are located in this coastal area, move inland to higher ground. "Tsunami warnings mean that a tsunami with significant inundation is possible or is already occurring. "Tsunamis are a series of waves dangerous many hours after initial arrival time. The first wave may not be the largest." #earthquake just got this! #alaskapic.twitter.com/kjNufsZuaM— AK Bliss‼️ (@misswendybliss) January 23, 2018 'This is not a drill... just go high' - radio station alert A local radio station on the Alaskan island of Kodiak, close to the epicentre, urged listeners to move away from coastal areas. "This is a tsunami warning. This is not a drill. Please get out to higher ground," said the announcer on KMXT public radio. "If you are on the flats, get up on one of the hills... just go high." 




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