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Alaska Beat

No Alaska tsunami develops from 7.7 earthquake in British Columbia

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published October 27, 2012

According to The Associated Press, a wave of just 4 inches arrived in Craig Saturday evening after an earthquake magnitude 7.7 hit the Queen Charlotte Islands area off the coast of British Columbia. A 5.8-magnitude aftershock followed moments later.

No injuries or damage were reported. At 3:44 a.m. ADT all tsunami warnings, watches and advisories from California to Alaska were cancelled.

The state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management activated its emergency operations center after the quake struck and notified officials in southeast Alaska communities. "We are instructing residents to be alert for messages from their local emergency officials," spokesman Jeremy Zidek said in an email to The Associated Press.

Lucy Jones, a USGS seismologist, said, "This isn't that big of an earthquake on tsunami scales," she said. "The really big tsunamis are usually up in the high 8s and 9s."

She said the earthquake occurred along a "fairly long" fault - "a plate 200 kilometers long" in a subduction zone, where one plate slips underneath another. Such quakes lift the sea floor and tend to cause tsunamis, she said.

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