Tsunami Warnings Issued for Parts of Alaska After 7.4 Magnitude Earthquake

Update: The National Weather Service downgraded the tsunami warning to an advisory on Monday.

"The Tsunami Warning was replaced with a Tsunami Advisory for South Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula following a strong earthquake," read a tweet from the National Weather Service. The maximum tsunami height so far was 2 feet measured at Sand Point, AK."

Original Story

Tsunami warnings were issued Monday for sections of the Alaska coast after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4 occurred approximately 55 miles southeast of Sand Point, Alaska in the North Pacific Ocean.

According to the U.S. Tsunami Warning Center, the warnings covered a stretch of the coastline of the Alaska peninsula. Residents from Kennedy Entrance to Unimak Pass were warned the earthquake could cause tsunamis with damaging waves and strong currents. Individuals within the tsunami warning area were advised to seek higher ground.

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Residents along a section of the Alaska Peninsula were warned of possible tsunamis after a Monday earthquake. iStock/Getty

"Tsunami warnings mean that a tsunami with significant inundation is possible or is already occurring," read a Monday warning from the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska. "Tsunamis are a series of waves dangerous many hours after initial arrival time. The first wave may not be the largest."

The tsunami warnings are to remain in effect until further notice. No other warnings for the U.S. West Coast have been issued.

According to The Columbian, the earthquake was felt along the southern coast of Alaska. After the initial quake, an aftershock registering 5.2 in magnitude was felt.

Newsweek reached out to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for comment.

In March 1964, an 9.2 magnitude earthquake hit Alaska's Prince William Sound, roughly 74 miles away from Anchorage.

A tsunami warning was issued for the Alaskan Peninsula in July after an offshore quake with a magnitude of 7.8 was recorded. However, the warning was rescinded when the resulting wave was less than a foot tall. The strength of the quake caused sections of the Alaskan coastline to sink by up to eight feet.

Chenega, a Native village, was struck by a tsunami that killed 26 people, representing a third of Chenega's total residents. The only surviving building was a schoolhouse that had been constructed 100 feet above sea level. The tallest tsunami wave from the quake measured 219 feet.

Aleutians East Borough School District Superintendent Patrick Mayer was visiting a school in Sand Point, the supposed epicenter of the earthquake, when the quake began on Monday. "You kind of always wait for it to build more," Mayer told the Anchorage Daily News, "but it just lasted and trailed off." Mayer said no damage had been identified at the school.

A tsunami warning was issued for the Alaskan Peninsula in July after an offshore quake with a magnitude of 7.8 was recorded. However, the warning was rescinded when the resulting wave was less than a foot tall.

Update 10:37 p.m. EST 10/19/2020: This story has been updated with information from the National Weather Service.