KAMCHATKA (REUTERS, AFP) - A powerful quake of magnitude 7.8 struck in the northern Pacific Ocean between the tip of Alaska's Aleutian Islands and Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, the US Geological Survey said on Monday.
The quake struck at 1:34 a.m. on Tuesday (at 2334 GMT on Monday) some 125 miles (200 km) from the city of Nikol'skoye on Bering island off the Kamchatka Peninsula. The epicenter was west of Attu, the westernmost and largest island in the Near Islands group of Alaska's remote Aleutian Islands.
Waves were forecast to be less than 0.3 meters above the tide level for coasts in an area ranging from Russia to Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
The earthquake, initially reported as a magnitude 7.7, was very shallow - only 10 km below the seabed, which would have amplified its effect, but it was quite far from any mainland.
The quake was initially reported as a magnitude 7.7 before being revised down to 7.4 and finally upgraded to 7.8, a major quake normally capable of causing widespread and heavy damage when striking on or near land.
The quake was followed by several aftershocks, including a couple above magnitude 5.0.