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Powerful 7.2-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Alaska Peninsula, Prompts Tsunami Alert

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Alaska

(CTN NEWS) – Late Saturday, a formidable 7.2-magnitude earthquake rattled the vicinity of the Alaska Peninsula.

The National Weather Service reported preliminary data indicating that the quake originated approximately 55 miles southwest of Sand Point, Alaska. Initially, the United States Geological Survey tweeted a magnitude measurement of 7.4.

The seismic event occurred around 10:48 p.m. local time, evoking a sense of alarm as sirens blared late into the night in Kodiak, Alaska, as captured in a social media video.

In response to the earthquake, the National Weather Service in Anchorage swiftly issued a brief tsunami warning, highlighting the potential for “significant inundation.”

However, this warning was subsequently downgraded to an advisory and eventually canceled entirely in the early hours of Sunday.

According to the NWS National Tsunami Warning Center, the seismic activity led to the generation of a tsunami; however, the threat has now subsided.

The center emphasized that while certain areas may experience minor fluctuations in sea level, there is no longer any danger.

Initially, the center had issued an advisory, urging coastal residents to evacuate beaches, harbors, and marinas.

Before the advisory, a brief tsunami warning was issued, specifying a time frame of approximately 90 minutes during which tsunami waves were anticipated to reach the shore between Chignik Bay and Unimak Pass.

The Anchorage office of the NWS stated on Twitter during the previous warning that there was a possibility of significant inundation, urging people to seek higher ground away from the coast.

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Seismic Activity along Alaska-Aleutian Subduction Zone and Historical Significance

According to a summary provided by USGS officials, the earthquake occurred along the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone, an area known for frequent occurrences of significant tremors.

They highlighted that since 1900, there have been nine other earthquakes measuring magnitude 7 or higher within a 250-kilometer range of the July 16, 2023, event.

USGS officials also recounted a historical event when an 8.6-magnitude earthquake struck approximately 93 miles away on April 1, 1946.

This particular quake generated a devastating tsunami that swept away the lighthouse on Unimak Island, claiming the lives of its five occupants.

Additionally, the resulting tsunamis caused the unfortunate loss of 159 lives in Hawaii and one life in California.

Furthermore, officials emphasized that a momentous earthquake measuring 9.2 in magnitude took place in the Alaska-Aleutian Trench on March 27, 1964.

This event stands as the second-largest earthquake ever recorded through modern seismic instrumentation, underscoring the seismic activity in the region.

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