Alaska Earthquake Triggers Tsunami & Volcano Alerts

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The residents of Kodiak, Alaska, were abruptly awoken to the sounds of sirens late on Saturday night after an earthquake struck about 55 miles southwest of Sand Point, Alaska.

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake was soon followed by a tsunami warning from the National Weather Service, stating there was a risk of “significant inundation”. The alert was later downgraded and eventually canceled early Sunday.

Alaska Earthquake
Image Credit: USGS.

According to the Alaska Earthquake Centre, the event was felt across the Aleutian Islands, the Alaskan Peninsula, and Cook Inlet regions.

Earthquakes are relatively common around the Alaskan Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean, with a further two recorded after the initial event on Saturday night. Around three minutes after a 5.2-magnitude was recorded, a further 3.5-magnitude quake was registered.

Although close in frequency, only earthquakes measured above a magnitude of four or five tend to cause damage, according to the USGS.

At the moment there is no tsunami threat for other areas in the US and Canada. However, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) observed the Shishaldin volcano produce plumes of ash early on Sunday.



According to AVO, “Due to the duration of this current activity and the extent of the distributing ash cloud, the Aviation Color Code is being raised to RED, and the Volcano Alert Level is being raised to WARNING for Shishaldin.”

Shishaldin is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian volcanic arc. Although eruptions tend to be small, an event in 1999 spewed an ash column that reached 45,000 feet.


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