The natural disaster that struck beneath the Gulf of Alaska Tuesday generated a tsunami, but before gauges could show it was very small, warnings went out to a vast swath of the state, while a lower-level alert targeted the rest of the West Coast.
Residents in several places around the Gulf of Alaska were told to leave. If you see any of those warning signs, you should move inland and uphill as fast as you can. More than 120,000 other homes were damaged.
For Alaskans accustomed to tsunami threats and regular tsunami drills, the warning still created some fretful moments.
"Although the tsunami warning was eventually suspended, this event demonstrates that coast warning systems do work".
"A warning means you need to evacuate, an advisory means you don't go surfing, you don't go hang out on the docks, you don't go boating, you don't go fishing", she said.
Keith Perkins got the phone alert and later heard the sirens going off in his southeast Alaska hometown of Sitka. He said he saw some people carrying suitcases or backpacks.
This quake was measured a 7.9 magnitude on the Richter magnitude scale.
"I figured I'd probably just better play it safe". The tsunami warning has been canceled.
But he said the police department has received no reports of damage. "Everybody was at least a couple of hundred miles away from this quake". A cruise ship was in the water just south of Kodiak. "We more than likely would have hit the tsunami sirens if it was going to be a large event". King's Diner invited people to breakfast on its website: "Hungry?"
Are you ready for a tsunami?
The U.S. Geological Survey initially said the quake had a preliminary reading of 8.2 and struck 278 kilometres southeast of Kodiak, Alaska at a depth of about 10 kilometres.
According to the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC), a tsunami warning was in effect along a large stretch of coastline, from Canada's British Columbia province to Alaska's Aleutian Islands. "It was very apocalyptic".
April 1, 1946: A quake in the Alaska Subduction Zone generated this tsunami, which caused flooding about 1,000 feet inland in Half Moon Bay on California's Central Coast. Officials in Japan say there is no tsunami threat there. "Definitely the longest, and I was born here", Rand said, adding the only damage was cracks in the wall.
The quake woke Kodiak Police Lt. Tim Putney from a dead sleep.
"I've been in Kodiak for 19 years".
The Alaska Earthquake Information Center categorized the shaking as light.
"It's our desire to send that information out to all the people who may be vulnerable to a hazard", he said.
The quake struck southeast of Kodiak Island and had an initial magnitude of 8.2 but was later downgraded.
Larry LeDoux, superintendent of the Kodiak Island Borough School District, said schools were open as shelters and estimated there were about 500 people at the high school.
The monster waves never materialized, but people who fled endured hours of tense waiting at shelters before they were cleared to return home.
Residents along B.C.'s coast were woken up in the middle of the night by warning sirens shortly after the quake hit. Ms. Osborne said there were no official figures on how many were evacuated Tuesday morning, but she said at least 400 people had settled into the local town hall, the designated muster point, for a couple of hours.
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