8.2 magnitude earthquake off Alaskan peninsula, tsunami warning

8.2 magnitude earthquake off Alaskan peninsula, tsunami warning

Map of Alaska locating an 8.2-magnitude earthquake that struck late Wednesday.
Map of Alaska locating an 8.2-magnitude earthquake that struck late Wednesday.

WASHINGTON: An 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the Alaskan peninsula late on Wednesday, the United States Geological Survey said, prompting a tsunami warning.

The earthquake hit 91 kilometres southeast of the town of Perryville, the USGS said. The US government issued a tsunami warning for south Alaska and the Alaskan peninsula.

"Hazardous tsunami waves for this earthquake are possible within the next three hours along some coasts," the US Tsunami Warning System said in a statement.

Perryville is a small village about 800km from Anchorage, Alaska's biggest city.

Tsunami warning sirens could be heard on Kodiak, an island with a population of about 6,000 people, along Alaska's coastline.

The quake struck at 10.15pm Wednesday (1.15pm Thursday in Thailand).

A broadcaster on local radio station KMXT said a tsunami, if it was generated, would hit Kodiak at 11.55pm.

Videos posted on social media by journalists and residents in Kodiak showed people driving away from the coast as warning sirens could be heard.

A tsunami watch was also issued for Hawaii, meaning residents are required to stay away from beaches.

Five aftershocks were recorded within 90 minutes of the earthquake, the largest with a magnitude of 6.2, according to the USGS.

The US National Weather Service later issued an advisory that, "based on all available data the tsunami threat from this earthquke has now passed. Readings from deep ocean gauges verify that a significant tsunami is not expected".

Alaska is part of the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire.

Alaska was hit by a 9.2-magnitude earthquake in March 1964, the strongest ever recorded in North America.

It devastated Anchorage and unleashed a tsunami that slammed the Gulf of Alaska, the US west coast, and Hawaii.

More than 250 people were killed by the quake and the tsunami.

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake also caused tsunami waves in Alaska's southern coast in October, but no casualties were reported.

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