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Tsunami warning issued for Southeast Alaska following 7.5 quake, canceled 2 hours later
Published: 01/05/2013 00:13:55
Updated: 01/05/2013 03:57:57

Warning map for tsunami caused by 7.7 earthquake off coastal Alaska
Warning map for tsunami caused by 7.7 earthquake off coastal Alaska (WCATWC / KATH-TV)

Estimated travel & arrvial times for tsunami caused by 7.5 earthquake off AK coast on January 4th 2013
Estimated travel & arrvial times for tsunami caused by 7.5 earthquake off AK coast on January 4th 2013 (WCATWC / KATH-TV)

A tsunami warning was issued by the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center for all areas of Southeast Alaska following a 7.5 magnitude Earthquake off the Southeast Alaska Coast late Friday evening that woke residents across the region.

The quake struck at 11:58 PM off the outer coast of Prince of Wales Island near Craig Alaska and caused residents in coastal communities across southeast Alaska to head to higher ground.

The warning was canceled 2 hours later just before 2 AM after a 6 inch wave was observed at Port Alexander and a slightly smaller wave was measured in Sitka, Alaska.

The small city of Craig, 60 miles from the quake's epicenter, opened evacuation centers shortly after the quake. City officials posted on Twitter after 1:30 AM that the evacuation centers were closing. "A minor tidal surge was experienced but no tsunami damage was reported" said one Tweet, while another reminded residents to be aware of possible aftershocks.

The outer coastal city of Sitka, 125 miles from the epicenter, also opened evacuation centers at local schools as tsunami warning sirens sounded according to local residents.

The inner coastal city of Petersburg, located 130 miles and shielded by many islands, opened their airport as an evacuation center as some residents headed to higher ground. Though it became clear later that Petersburg was not directly threatened by the tsunami; residents in coastal communities are educated to move to higher ground automatically after large earthquakes as a precaution without waiting for an official warning.

The quake was widely felt in Alaska's capital city of Juneau 200 miles away where people awoke to the shaking which rattled furniture. No evacuations were ordered in Juneau which is also protected by islands from most tsunamis.

Earthquake reports gathered from web users by the US Geological Survey listed respondents feeling the quake as far away as Whitehorse, Canada and Seattle, WA.

Minor aftershocks continued to shake the region with small tremors late into the night.

As of early Saturday morning, no major damage or injuries had been reported.


Messages from the West Cost and Alaska Tsunami Warning center are posted below...
----

WEAK51 PAAQ 051058
TSUAK1

BULLETIN
PUBLIC TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER 4
NWS WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER PALMER AK
158 AM AKST SAT JAN 5 2013

...THE TSUNAMI WARNING IS CANCELLED...


CANCELLATIONS
-------------
* THE TSUNAMI WARNING IS CANCELED FOR THE COASTAL AREAS OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ALASKA FROM THE NORTH TIP OF VANCOUVER
ISLAND BRITISH COLUMBIA TO CAPE FAIRWEATHER ALASKA/LOCATED
80 MILES SE OF YAKUTAT/


IMPACTS - UPDATED
-----------------
* A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED DURING THIS EVENT BUT NO LONGER
POSES A THREAT.

* SOME AREAS MAY CONTINUE TO SEE SMALL SEA LEVEL CHANGES.

* THE DETERMINATION TO RE-OCCUPY HAZARD ZONES MUST BE MADE BY
LOCAL OFFICIALS.


RECOMMENDED ACTIONS - UPDATED
-----------------------------
* DO NOT RE-OCCUPY HAZARD ZONES UNTIL LOCAL EMERGENCY OFFICIALS
INDICATE IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.


OBSERVATIONS OF TSUNAMI ACTIVITY - UPDATED
------------------------------------------
TIME OBSERVED MAX
SITE OF MEASUREMENT TSUNAMI HEIGHT
---------------------------- --------------- --------------
PORT ALEXANDER AK 1026 UTC 01-05 00.5FT
SITKA AK 1041 UTC 01-05 00.3FT

HEIGHT - OBSERVED MAX TSUNAMI HEIGHT IS THE WATER LEVEL ABOVE THE
TIDE LEVEL AT THE TIME OF MEASUREMENT.

DEEP OCEAN PRESSURE SENSORS DID NOT RECORD A TSUNAMI.


NEXT UPDATE AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
--------------------------------------
* THIS WILL BE THE LAST WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER
BULLETIN ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT.

* REFER TO THE INTERNET SITE WCATWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV FOR MORE
INFORMATION.

* PACIFIC COASTAL REGIONS OUTSIDE CALIFORNIA... OREGON...
WASHINGTON... BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ALASKA SHOULD REFER TO THE
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER MESSAGES FOR INFORMATION AT
PTWC.WEATHER.GOV.

$$

----
WEAK51 PAAQ 051017
TSUAK1

BULLETIN
PUBLIC TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER 3
NWS WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER PALMER AK
117 AM AKST SAT JAN 5 2013

THE MAGNITUDE HAS BEEN UPDATED TO 7.5 AND A SMALL TSUNAMI
HAS BEEN OBSERVED AT PORT ALEXANDER, ALASKA.

...THE TSUNAMI WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT...


WARNINGS/ADVISORIES/WATCHES - UPDATED
-------------------------------------
TSUNAMI WARNING IN EFFECT FOR...

* THE COASTAL AREAS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ALASKA FROM THE
NORTH TIP OF VANCOUVER ISLAND BRITISH COLUMBIA TO CAPE
FAIRWEATHER ALASKA/LOCATED 80 MILES SE OF YAKUTAT/


CANCELLATIONS
-------------
* THE TSUNAMI ADVISORY IS CANCELED FOR THE COASTAL AREAS OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA FROM THE WASHINGTON-BRITISH COLUMBIA
BORDER TO THE NORTH TIP OF VANCOUVER ISLAND BRITISH
COLUMBIA

* THE TSUNAMI WARNING IS CANCELED FOR THE COASTAL AREAS OF
ALASKA FROM CAPE FAIRWEATHER ALASKA/LOCATED 80 MILES SE OF
YAKUTAT/ TO CAPE SUCKLING ALASKA/LOCATED 75 MILES SE OF
CORDOVA/

* THE TSUNAMI ADVISORY IS CANCELED FOR THE COASTAL AREAS OF
ALASKA FROM CAPE SUCKLING ALASKA/LOCATED 75 MILES SE OF
CORDOVA/ TO KENNEDY ENTRANCE ALASKA/LOCATED 40 MILES SW OF
HOMER/


IMPACTS FOR TSUNAMI WARNING AREAS
---------------------------------
* A TSUNAMI WITH SIGNIFICANT WIDESPREAD INUNDATION OF LAND IS
EXPECTED.

* WIDESPREAD DANGEROUS COASTAL FLOODING ACCOMPANIED BY POWERFUL
CURRENTS IS POSSIBLE AND MAY CONTINUE FOR MANY HOURS AFTER
TSUNAMI ARRIVAL.

* THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST.


RECOMMENDED ACTIONS - UPDATED
-----------------------------
* IF YOU ARE IN A WARNING AREA - MOVE INLAND TO HIGHER GROUND.

* BE ALERT TO INSTRUCTIONS FROM YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY OFFICIALS.

* DO NOT GO TO THE COAST TO OBSERVE THE TSUNAMI.

* DO NOT RETURN TO THE COAST UNTIL LOCAL EMERGENCY OFFICIALS
INDICATE IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.


FORECASTS AND/OR OBSERVATIONS OF TSUNAMI ACTIVITY
-------------------------------------------------
FORECAST FORECAST FORECAST OBSERVED
START OF TSUNAMI MAX TSUNAMI TSUNAMI
SITE OF TSUNAMI DURATION HEIGHT HEIGHT
---- ---------- -------- ------------- -------

* BRITISH COLUMBIA
LANGARA 0129 PST JAN 5

* ALASKA
SITKA 0043 AKST JAN 5
ELFIN COVE 0055 AKST JAN 5
CRAIG 0115 AKST JAN 5

FORECAST MAX TSUNAMI HEIGHT IS THE HIGHEST EXPECTED WATER LEVEL
ABOVE THE TIDE.

FORECAST TSUNAMI DURATION IS THE APPROXIMATE LENGTH OF TIME WHICH
THE TSUNAMI MAY PRODUCE DANGEROUS CURRENTS AND WAVE ACTIVITY.

OBSERVED TSUNAMI HEIGHT IS THE HIGHEST WATER LEVEL ABOVE THE
TIDE LEVEL AT THE TIME OF MEASUREMENT.


ADDITIONAL OBSERVATIONS OF TSUNAMI ACTIVITY - UPDATED
-----------------------------------------------------
TIME OBSERVED MAX
SITE OF MEASUREMENT TSUNAMI HEIGHT
---------------------------- --------------- --------------
PORT ALEXANDER AK 1007 UTC 01-05 00.5FT

HEIGHT - OBSERVED MAX TSUNAMI HEIGHT IS THE WATER LEVEL ABOVE THE
TIDE LEVEL AT THE TIME OF MEASUREMENT.


PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS
---------------------------------
* MAGNITUDE 7.5
* ORIGIN TIME 2358 AKST JAN 04 2013
0058 PST JAN 05 2013
0858 UTC JAN 05 2013
* COORDINATES 55.3 NORTH 134.9 WEST
* DEPTH 3 MILES
* LOCATION 95 MILES NW OF DIXON ENTRANCE ALASKA
210 MILES S OF JUNEAU ALASKA


NEXT UPDATE AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
--------------------------------------
* THIS MESSAGE WILL BE UPDATED IN 45 MINUTES.

* REFER TO THE INTERNET SITE WCATWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV FOR MORE
INFORMATION.

* PACIFIC COASTAL RESIDENTS OUTSIDE CALIFORNIA... OREGON...
WASHINGTON... BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ALASKA SHOULD REFER TO THE
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER MESSAGES FOR INFORMATION ON THIS
EVENT AT PTWC.WEATHER.GOV.

$$



http://www.tsunami.gov

By: Mikko Wilson - mikko@kath.tv