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Graphic shows estimated tsunami travel times for an offshore earthquake near Alaska (January 23, 2018). Source: NOAA / National Weather Service U.S. Tsunami Warning System

Tsunami warning cancelled after Alaskan earthquake

About 1:40am (Pacific Time) a Tsunami Warning was issued for the Pacific coastal regions of Canada and the US by the NOAA/National Weather Service US Tsunami Warning System after an earthquake had been detected in the Pacific Ocean near Alaska about 1:30am. Initial reports were of a 8.0M strength earthquake.

Estimates placed the arrival of any potential tsunami to the Washington coastal region at around or after 5am.

Officials monitoring wave activity at various points in the north Pacific Ocean saw no indication of increases that would indicate the presence of a tsunami.

The Tsunami Warning was reduced about 3:30am to a Tsunami Watch for the islands of Hawaii and a Tsunami Advisory for the coast of Alaska and inland waters of Washington and British Columbia. All tsunami alerts were subsequently cancelled around 4:30am.

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earthquake location on map 2018-01-23 src tsunami-gov
Location of Alaskan offshore earthquake (January 23, 2018). Source: NOAA / National Weather Service U.S. Tsunami Warning System

The earthquake was located 175 miles southeast of Kodiak City, Alaska, and its strength was ultimately recorded at 7.9M.

Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management Deputy Director John Gargett said local tsunami sirens were not activated but would have been had a tsunami been observed heading towards the area. In the case of an Alaskan earthquake like the one this morning, residents would have been given between 1.5 to 2.5 hours notice, Gargett said.

Ferndale area tsunami alert towers are located on the Lummi Peninsula near the casino and Gooseberry Point and on Sandy Point by the Whatcom County Fire District 17 fire station on Sucia Drive.

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One Comment

  1. Discover Ferndale Discover Ferndale January 25, 2018

    It was asked how far inland would a tsunami travel around the Ferndale area. An earlier Discover Ferndale story includes a map of what is considered a tsunami hazard area. Click here to read about it.

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