Tsunami warnings, watches issued after Gulf of Alaska earthquake
A tsunami watch was issued for coastal areas from Washington to California early Tuesday after a magnitude 7.9. earthquake struck the Gulf of Alaska ó but there were no early reports of any waves.
Image: A National Weather Service map showing the red tsunami warning zone as well as the yellow tsunami watch zone, which runs south from Washington to California and also includes Hawaii.
A National Weather Service map showing the red tsunami warning zone as well as the yellow tsunami watch zone, which runs south from Washington to California and also includes Hawaii. NWS
A full tsunami warning was also in effect for the coasts of Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia. A tsunami watch was also issued for Hawaii but was later canceled.
The quake struck at 12:31 a.m. local time (4:31 a.m. ET) about 330 miles south from the coast of Alaska at a depth of six miles, the USGS said. It later revised its strength downward from an initial reading of 8.2 magnitude.
The earliest wave was predicted to have reached Kodiak, Alaska, at 1:45 a.m. local time (5:45 a.m. ET). Warning sirens sounded over the town and the local police department urged residents to immediately evacuate. However, it the department said no waves had hit "so far" and there were no other reports of waves from residents.
Waves were forecast to reach the Washington coasts at or after 4:50 a.m. local time (7:50 a.m. ET), the USGS said, and California from 5:20 a.m. local time (8:20 a.m. ET).
150am | A #TSUNAMI WATCH is in effect for the coast of Washington and Oregon. First waves may arrive around 510am, per the Tsunami Warning Center. Further details/updates can be found at https://t.co/mJ1zkhcdo7 or via NOAA weather radio... #orwx #wawx
ó NWS Portland (@NWSPortland) January 23, 2018
The NWS Tsunami Warning Center advised that "widespread hazardous tsunami waves are possible."
A buoy located 188 nautical miles southeast of Cordova, Alaska, recorded a wave of about 30 feet, according to NOAA data, although it was unclear if this was related to the quake.
ďWe know one of the buoys showed a significant water rise right next to where the earthquake happened but the next buoy didnít seem to experience that," NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins said. "We donít know yet what this means. It could have malfunctioned. We just donít know at this stage. Itís too early to tell."
He added: "If anyone is still on the coast, the message is still get out of the way until we know more.Ē
Tue Jan 23 10:07:47 UTC 2018 event picture pic.twitter.com/qeKKqFTysB
ó NWS Tsunami Alerts (@NWS_NTWC) January 23, 2018
The Anchorage Police Department said the city was not covered by the warning and was outside the danger zone. It urged residents not to call 911.
In the coastal city of Homer, Alaska, police told NBC News they were advising residents to evacuate to higher ground ahead of the wave's expected arrival there at 2:55 a.m. local time (6:55 a.m. ET).
WEAK51 PAAQ 230935
Public Tsunami Message Number 1
NWS National Tsunami Warning Center Palmer AK
1235 AM AKST Tue Jan 23 2018
...A TSUNAMI WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT...
...A TSUNAMI WATCH IS NOW IN EFFECT...
Tsunami Warning in Effect for;
* BRITISH COLUMBIA, The Juan de Fuca Strait coast, the outer
west coast of Vancouver Island, the central coast and
northeast Vancouver Island, and the north coast and Haida
* SOUTHEAST ALASKA, The inner and outer coast from The
BC/Alaska Border to Cape Fairweather, Alaska (80 miles SE
* SOUTH ALASKA AND THE ALASKA PENINSULA, Pacific coasts from
Cape Fairweather, Alaska (80 miles SE of Yakutat) to Unimak
Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of Unalaska)
* ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, Unimak Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of
Unalaska) to Attu, Alaska including the Pribilof Islands
Tsunami Watch in Effect for;
* CALIFORNIA, The coast from The Cal./Mexico Border to The
Oregon/Cal. Border including San Francisco Bay
* OREGON, The coast from The Oregon/Cal. Border to The
Oregon/Wash. Border including the Columbia River estuary
* WASHINGTON, Outer coast from the Oregon/Washington border
to Slip Point, Columbia River estuary coast, and the Juan
de Fuca Strait coast
PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS
* The following parameters are based on a rapid preliminary
assessment and changes may occur.
* Magnitude 8.0
* Origin Time 0032 AKST Jan 23 2018
0132 PST Jan 23 2018
0932 UTC Jan 23 2018
* Coordinates 56.0 North 149.2 West
* Depth 12 miles
* Location 175 miles SE of Kodiak City, Alaska
365 miles S of Anchorage, Alaska
FORECASTS OF TSUNAMI ACTIVITY
* Tsunami activity is forecasted to start at the following
locations at the specified times.
SITE OF TSUNAMI
Kodiak 0145 AKST Jan 23
Seward 0155 AKST Jan 23
Elfin Cove 0155 AKST Jan 23
Sitka 0200 AKST Jan 23
Yakutat 0205 AKST Jan 23
Valdez 0215 AKST Jan 23
Sand Point 0220 AKST Jan 23
Cordova 0225 AKST Jan 23
Unalaska 0240 AKST Jan 23
Homer 0255 AKST Jan 23
Craig 0300 AKST Jan 23
Cold Bay 0300 AKST Jan 23
Adak 0305 AKST Jan 23
Shemya 0350 AKST Jan 23
Saint Paul 0400 AKST Jan 23
* British Columbia
Langara 0210 AKST Jan 23
Tofino 0340 AKST Jan 23
Neah Bay 0455 PST Jan 23
Long Beach 0500 PST Jan 23
Moclips 0500 PST Jan 23
Westport 0510 PST Jan 23
Port Angeles 0530 PST Jan 23
Port Townsend 0555 PST Jan 23
Port Orford 0505 PST Jan 23
Charleston 0510 PST Jan 23
Seaside 0510 PST Jan 23
Newport 0515 PST Jan 23
Brookings 0515 PST Jan 23
Crescent City 0520 PST Jan 23
Horse Mountain 0525 PST Jan 23
Fort Bragg 0525 PST Jan 23
Monterey 0555 PST Jan 23
San Francisco 0620 PST Jan 23
Port San Luis 0620 PST Jan 23
Santa Barbara 0635 PST Jan 23
Los Angeles Harb 0650 PST Jan 23
Newport Beach 0700 PST Jan 23
La Jolla 0705 PST Jan 23
Oceanside 0705 PST Jan 23
OBSERVATIONS OF TSUNAMI ACTIVITY
* No tsunami observations are available to report.
Actions to protect human life and property will
vary within tsunami warning areas.
If you are in a tsunami warning area;
* Evacuate inland or to higher ground above and beyond
designated tsunami hazard zones or move to an upper floor
of a multi-story building depending on your situation.
* Move out of the water, off the beach, and away from
harbors, marinas, breakwaters, bays and inlets.
* Be alert to and follow instructions from your local
emergency officials because they may have more detailed or
specific information for your location.
* If you feel a strong earthquake or extended ground rolling
take immediate protective actions such as moving inland
and/or uphill preferably by foot.
* Boat operators,
* Where time and conditions permit, move your boat out to
sea to a depth of at least 180 feet.
* If at sea avoid entering shallow water, harbors,
marinas, bays, and inlets to avoid floating and
submerged debris and strong currents.
* Do not go to the shore to observe the tsunami.
* Do not return to the coast until local emergency officials
indicate it is safe to do so.
If you are in a tsunami watch area;
* Prepare to take action and stay alert for further
Impacts will vary at different locations in the warning
If you are in a tsunami warning area;
* A tsunami with damaging waves and powerful currents is
* Repeated coastal flooding is possible as waves arrive
onshore, move inland, and drain back into the ocean.
* Strong and unusual waves, currents and inland flooding
can drown or injure people and weaken or destroy structures
on land and in water.
* Water filled with floating or submerged debris that can
injure or kill people and weaken or destroy buildings and
bridges is possible.
* Strong and unusual currents and waves in harbors,
marinas, bays, and inlets may be especially
* Some impacts may continue for many hours to days after
arrival of the first wave.
* The first wave may not be the largest so later waves may
* Each wave may last 5 to 45 minutes as a wave encroaches
* Coasts facing all directions are threatened because the
waves can wrap around islands and headlands and into bays.
* Strong shaking or rolling of the ground indicates an
earthquake has occurred and a tsunami may be imminent.
* A rapidly receding or receded shoreline, unusual waves and
sounds, and strong currents are signs of a tsunami.
* The tsunami may appear as water moving rapidly out to sea,
a gentle rising tide like flood with no breaking wave,
as a series of breaking waves, or a frothy wall of water.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND NEXT UPDATE
* Refer to the internet site tsunami.gov for more information.
* Pacific coastal residents outside California, Oregon,
Washington, British Columbia and Alaska should refer to the
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center messages at tsunami.gov.