8.0-Magnitude Earthquake Causes Tsunami Warning For Alaskan Islands

An 8.0-magnitude earthquake was recorded in the Aleutian Arc of islands, sometimes called the “rat islands,” between Russia and Alaska at 4:53:10 p.m. EDT (11:53 a.m. local time) on June 23.

The quake created a tsunami warning for the coastal regions of Alaska from Nikolski to Attu.

What was originally a 7.1 magnitude earthquake was upgraded to an 8.0. It seems to be too deep to pose a threat to Hawaii, according to the National Weather Service. The latest bulletin indicates that other areas of the US and Canadian Pacific coasts wouldn’t be impacted.

The alert says: “No tsunami threat exists for other coastal areas in the Pacific although some other areas may experience small non-destructive sea level changes lasting up to several hours.”

Here’s what the earth-shaking pattern looked like from Norway:

Here’s what the preliminary tsunami forecast looked like:

The tsunami warning from NOAA for the local Alaskan coast says there could be “widespread and dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful currents…. may continue for many hours after tsunami arrival.” It also notes that “The first wave may not be the largest.”

The alert says to move inland, listen for local emergency instructions, and stay away from coastal areas.

According to the USGS:

The Aleutian arc extends approximately 3,000 km from the Gulf of Alaska in the east to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the west. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Aleutian Islands and the deep offshore Aleutian Trench.

Here are the details from NOAA:

Location: 30 miles NW of Amchitka, Alaska
Magnitude: 7.1 [upgraded to 8.0] Depth: 57.8 (Mi.)
Lat: 51.9 ° N Lon: 178.8 ° E
Origin Time: 6/23/2014 4:53:10 PM

Nearby Cities include:

1. 21km (13mi) ESE of Little Sitkin Island, Alaska

2. 1370km (851mi) E of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia

3. 1387km (862mi) E of Yelizovo, Russia

4. 1387km (862mi) E of Vilyuchinsk, Russia

5. 2948km (1832mi) W of Whitehorse, Canada

Unsurprisingly, this wasn’t the only earthquake that happened today. There was another relatively large earthquake in New Zealand. There was a 5.9 aftershock in the rat islands about half an hour after the first major quake, at 12:30 local time (or 5:30 PM EST).

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