The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said that a strong 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the southeastern coast of Alaska just before midnight local time last night (January 4-5, 2013). A local tsunami warning was issued for parts of southern Alaska and coastal Canada, and it has now been withdrawn. The warning area extened for about 475 miles and included coastal areas from about 75 miles southeast of Cordova, Alaska, to the north tip of Vancouver Island, Canada, the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said. There were no initial reports of damage from the earthquake.
Here are the details of the quake from USGS:
Date-Time Saturday, January 05, 2013 at 08:58:16 UTC
Friday, January 04, 2013 at 11:58:16 PM at epicenter
Location 55.238°N, 134.777°W
Depth 9.9 km (6.2 miles)
102 km (63 miles) W of Craig, Alaska
303 km (188 miles) WNW of Prince Rupert, Canada
335 km (208 miles) S of Juneau, Alaska
402 km (249 miles) WNW of Terrace, Canada
The original statement from the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said a “significant widespread inundation of land” was expected, but that has apparently not happened.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said:
THE WEST COAST AND ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER HAS ISSUED A REGIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING AND/OR WATCH AND/OR ADVISORY FOR OTHER PARTS OF THE PACIFIC LOCATED CLOSER TO THE EARTHQUAKE. BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA THERE IS NO DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.
HOWEVER… SOME COASTAL AREAS IN HAWAII COULD EXPERIENCE SMALL NON-DESTRUCTIVE SEA LEVEL CHANGES AND STRONG OR UNUSUAL CURRENTS LASTING UP TO SEVERAL HOURS. THE ESTIMATED TIME SUCH EFFECTS MIGHT BEGIN IS 0428 AM HST SAT 05 JAN 2013
Bottom line: A strong 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the southeast coast of Alaska on the night of January 4-5, 2013. The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center issued a local warning and expected some flooding, but it has now withdrawn that warning. No Pacific-wide tsunami is expected, although Hawaii might experience small non-destructive sea level changes and strong or unusual currents lasting up to several hours.
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.