Alaska issues tsunami advisory after big quake

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake has been detected about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, in the Gulf of Alaska, according to preliminary figures from the United States Geological Survey.

Posted: Jan 24, 2018 6:02 AM
Updated: Jan 24, 2018 6:02 AM

Forecasters canceled tsunami warnings for Alaska and the US and Canadian west coasts Tuesday after an earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska stoked fears of damaging waves.

The tsunami alerts were canceled "because additional information and analysis have better defined the threat," said the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska.

Small tsunami waves of less than 1 foot were reported in Alaska, the center said.

The minor tsunami was triggered by a magnitude-7.9 earthquake that struck shortly after midnight. It was centered about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, at a depth of 15 miles, the US Geological Survey said.

The temblor was followed by at least 61 aftershocks, USGS Seismologist Rafael Abreu said.

The aftershocks in the region so far were not strong enough to trigger any additional tsunami warnings, but were just the Earth releasing energy, Abreu explained.

"Most of the aftershocks seem to be in the magnitude 4.0 range," Abreu said, adding that "this area of Alaska has seen many earthquakes. It's pretty active in terms of historical seismicity. So it's just a typical tectonic boundary event."

Although the tsunami warnings were canceled, San Francisco officials warned residents to stay away from coastlines. About mid-morning, the dangerous-currents advisory from the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management was canceled.

'Whole town is evacuating'

Nathaniel Moore was on a commercial fishing boat in Kodiak when the quake hit. He said he felt it "shake really good for a minute." He and others on the vessel quickly got to shore and headed for higher ground amid the tsunami warning.

"The whole town is evacuating," he told CNN.

Tsunami sirens sounded in Kodiak, and police warned: "This is not a drill."

Though the tsunami warnings and evacuation calls were canceled, schools in Kodiak canceled classes after campuses opened overnight as emergency shelters, the district announced via Facebook.

Wendy Bliss Snipes described the quake as "a slow roller, so it was felt for at least a minute before the real rolling started. Nothing fell off the walls, and I didn't have to wake my kiddo."

Heather Rand, who was in Anchorage, told CNN that the earthquake felt like the longest she had ever experienced.

"It was a very long, slow build up. Creepy, more than anything. Definitely the longest, and I was born here," Rand said. She reported no damage besides cracks in the drywall.

Why this wasn't a lot worse

Both the earthquake and tsunami could have been much worse. Two key factors helped minimize damage.

First, the quake's center was under the ocean, helping prevent catastrophic damage to structures on land.

Second, the quake resulted from a strike-slip fault -- meaning pressure built up as two plates moved horizontally, CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen said.

That's a lot less dangerous than a thrust fault, which happens when a plate displaces vertically.

"These are the quakes that produce the large tsunamis," Hennen said, such as the devastating 2011 quake and tsunami that killed more than 20,000 people in Japan.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly attribute a quotation from an Alaska resident.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74992

Reported Deaths: 3044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15963725
Lake7632275
Elkhart488385
Allen3937163
St. Joseph354682
Hamilton2803104
Vanderburgh199713
Hendricks1901108
Cass17969
Johnson1767118
Porter133839
Clark124447
Tippecanoe122111
Madison98765
LaPorte92130
Howard90565
Kosciusko86212
Bartholomew80147
Floyd79146
Marshall79022
Monroe75930
Delaware73852
Dubois70012
Noble68429
Boone68346
Hancock67038
Vigo66810
Jackson5885
Warrick58630
LaGrange55910
Shelby55827
Grant52830
Dearborn50828
Morgan48334
Clinton4403
Henry38520
Wayne37710
White37210
Montgomery35421
Lawrence35027
Harrison34123
Decatur33832
Putnam2908
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25134
Jasper2452
Franklin24314
DeKalb2354
Gibson2284
Jennings22612
Steuben2113
Ripley2087
Carroll1932
Fayette1907
Perry18612
Starke1787
Posey1770
Orange17324
Wells1712
Wabash1703
Fulton1692
Jefferson1652
Knox1590
Whitley1546
Tipton14311
Washington1421
Spencer1363
Sullivan1341
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1234
Newton11810
Adams1022
Jay920
Owen911
Pulaski831
Rush804
Brown741
Fountain742
Blackford652
Ohio655
Benton620
Pike560
Vermillion550
Parke521
Switzerland520
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren231
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 101731

Reported Deaths: 3673
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18483525
Cuyahoga13640500
Hamilton9689255
Lucas5377323
Montgomery439894
Summit3573223
Butler294463
Marion292945
Mahoning2566254
Pickaway238742
Stark1844139
Warren180339
Lorain180278
Columbiana166560
Trumbull1534107
Fairfield140032
Delaware131619
Licking129949
Clark115814
Lake112438
Wood105858
Clermont94111
Medina93035
Miami85338
Tuscarawas78814
Portage76561
Allen76044
Greene70312
Mercer62513
Belmont62126
Richland60812
Erie59227
Ashtabula57446
Geauga55844
Wayne54458
Ross4904
Darke40229
Huron4015
Ottawa39026
Madison38810
Sandusky38417
Hancock3793
Athens3591
Holmes3286
Lawrence2880
Auglaize2566
Union2541
Muskingum2391
Jefferson2342
Scioto2341
Seneca2223
Putnam20817
Knox2067
Washington20522
Preble2042
Shelby2004
Coshocton1946
Champaign1782
Crawford1745
Morrow1722
Hardin16912
Clinton1656
Highland1591
Logan1552
Ashland1493
Defiance1484
Wyandot1488
Fulton1471
Brown1382
Perry1363
Williams1353
Guernsey1187
Hocking1189
Henry1172
Fayette1150
Carroll1105
Monroe9318
Pike770
Jackson750
Van Wert721
Paulding700
Gallia651
Adams612
Meigs500
Vinton312
Morgan280
Harrison261
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 75°
Angola
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 68°
Van Wert
68° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Partly Sunny Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events