Tsunami alert canceled for Alaska


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A tsunami alert was issued early Friday for Alaska’s Aleutian Islands -- and canceled minutes later -- after a sizable earthquake there at 2:46 a.m. Alaska time.

The U.S. Geological Survey had issued the tsunami alert in the wake of an earthquake (preliminary magnitude 7.1), fearing for the coastal areas from Unimak Pass to Amchitka Pass. The areas are remote, but not unpopulated. [UPDATED 2:14 p.m.: The quake was later downgraded to a 6.8 magnitude.]

Evacuations began -- and were soon halted, the Associated Press reports -- adding this quote from Jeremy Zidek, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Homeland Security: “In Atka, they had a little bump of a wave, but nothing of any kind of a destructive power. Just a wave.’


‘Just a wave’ hardly seemed reason for alarm.

Thus this notice posted on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website:

‘NO destructive tsunami has been recorded, and NO tsunami danger exists along the coasts of the U.S. west coast states, Alaska, and British Columbia. Local authorities can assume all clear upon receipt of this message.’

Just to be clear, it adds:

‘This will be the last West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center message issued for this event. To repeat, NO tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for the U.S. West coast states, Alaska, and British Columbia.’


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-- Tami Dennis