A tsunami warning was triggered Monday in Alaska following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast of this American state, announced the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS). The tremor, initially rated at 7.4, was recorded 91 km southeast of Sand Point, in the Aleutian Islands in the Bering Sea, about 40 km deep, the USGS said.
The tsunami alert concerns the south coast of the state as well as the Alaska Peninsula but spares Anchorage, the largest city in the state, located nearly a thousand kilometers from the epicenter. “For the other American and Canadian coasts in North America, the level of danger of the tsunami is being evaluated”, specifies the center of alert of the Pacific for the tsunamis. No information on possible casualties or damage was available immediately after the shock.
A very active area for earthquakes
The quake was felt in King Cove, about 100 kilometers west of Sand Point, but no damage was found, the small town manager, Gary Hennigh, told Anchorage Daily News. “Residents and cannery workers are evacuating to the heights until we know more about the tsunami warning,” he said. “It rocked a lot, I can’t tell you how long it lasted, maybe 15 to 30 seconds,” added Michael Ashley of Cold Bay. “All the sofas, armchairs and shelves were moving”. The main tremor was followed by several aftershocks of magnitude 5 or greater.
Alaska is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a very active zone for earthquakes, which stretches from the Gulf of Alaska to the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka. On March 27, 1964, an earthquake of magnitude 9.2, the most violent ever recorded in the United States and in the world, struck the Anchorage region. It had lasted several minutes and caused a destructive tidal wave across the entire American West Coast, killing more than 250 people in total.
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