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Alaska coast hit by 8.2 magnitude earthquake, no tsunami risk for B.C.

HANA MAE NASSAR | posted Thursday, Jul 29th, 2021

A massive earthquake rocked some parts of Alaska late Wednesday night.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake was a magnitude 8.2, hitting just off the Alaska Peninsula, southeast of Perryville and southwest of Kodiak, at a depth of 32 kilometres — which is considered to be shallow.

It struck just after 11 p.m. PT and occurred along the Aleutian chain — an area that has seen many quakes in the past.

“You have this subduction zone, it’s 1,000 miles long, and there have been quite a number of quakes of large size that have occurred there in the past,” explained Randy Baldwin, a USGS geophysicist.

Tsunami warnings had been issued for much of the Alaska coastline, but have since been cancelled. Advisories were originally put in place for South Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula, and the Aleutian Islands, according to various media reports.

“Remember, strong and unusual currents may continue for several hours. If you have damage, please report it to your local officials,” wrote the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center hours after the earthquake struck.

Emergency Info B.C. confirmed early Wednesday there was no tsunami risk to British Columbia as a result of the magnitude 8.2 quake.

The earthquake and ensuing tsunami risk in parts of Alaska forced some communities to order residents to seek higher ground.

According to the Alaska Earthquake Centre, the shaker was “felt throughout the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak.”

The city of Kodiak was among communities impacted by evacuation orders, with police urging locals to get to a local high school that was higher up.

According to the National Tsunami Warning Centre, a wave measuring less than 30 centimetres high was generated by the seismic activity.

No damage has been reported as a result of the tremblor, but Baldwin is not expecting anything major.

“The estimated loses or fatalities would be probably minimal, if there were any at all,” he added.

-With files from The Canadian Press

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