Magnitude 8.2 quake off Alaska prompts tsunami warning

An earthquake of magnitude 8.2 off Alaska on Jan 23 prompted a tsunami warning for parts of Alaska and Canada and a tsunami watch for the entire US west coast. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM EARTHQUAKE.USGS.GOV

LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) - A magnitude 8.2 earthquake hit the Gulf of Alaska in the early hours of Tuesday (Jan 23), prompting authorities to warn people in the area to move away from the coast in case it causes a tsnuami.

The quake hit 256km south-east of Chiniak, Alaska at a depth of 10km at 0931 GMT (5.31pm Singapore), the United States Geological Survey said.

"If you are located in this coastal area, move inland to higher ground. Tsunami warnings mean that a tsunami with significant inundation is possible or is already occurring," Anchorage Office of Emergency Management said in a warning for Alaska and British Columbia.

Tsunami warnings for parts of Alaska and Canada were issued. Less-ominous tsunami watches were issued for the US west coast - the entire coasts of California and Oregon and part of Washington state.

"Based on all available data a tsunami may have been generated by this earthquake that could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicentre," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

Japan's meteorological agency said it was monitoring the situation but did not issue a tsunami alert.

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