The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported a deep and powerful earthquake in the Aleutian Islands earlier today. The quake was originally reported as an 8.0-magnitude, but later updated as a 7.9-magnitude quake – a very powerful earthquake. The quake took place at a depth of 107.5 kilometers (66.8 miles). AP reported:
Residents of the city of Adak on Alaska’s Aleutian Islands evacuated the town site and gathered on a nearby hill Monday after a magnitude-8.0 earthquake prompted a tsunami warning for part of the island chain.
‘We’re seeing water leave our bay, so we do have everybody up on the Bering Hill area, where our primary evacuation center is at,’ City Manager Layton Lockett told The Associated Press by telephone as he gathered some last paperwork before heading out himself to join about 300 residents at the center.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a regional warning following the quake, but said there was never a tsunami danger to Hawaii:
THE U.S. NATIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER HAS ISSUED A REGIONAL TSUNAMI ADVISORY AND/OR WARNING FOR OTHER PARTS OF THE PACIFIC LOCATED CLOSER TO THE EARTHQUAKE. BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA… THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA… THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.
Details of the quake, from USGS, are as follows:
2014-06-23 20:53:09 UTC
2014-06-23 11:53:09 UTC-09:00 at epicenter
24km (15mi) SE of Little Sitkin Island, Alaska
1370km (851mi) E of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia
1387km (862mi) E of Vilyuchinsk, Russia
1388km (862mi) E of Yelizovo, Russia
2957km (1837mi) W of Whitehorse, Canada
Bottom line: A powerful and deep earthquake measuring magnitude 7.9 onthe Richter Scale took place in the Aleutian Islands. No Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued. No reports of damages or injuries.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.