UK & World News

  • 5 January 2013, 12:46

Earthquake Strikes Off West Coast Of Alaska

An earthquake measuring 7.7 has been recorded in the Pacific Ocean off Alaska.

The quake was centred about 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Port Alexander at a depth of about six miles (10km), according to the US Geological Survey.

The Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre says some areas are seeing small sea level changes, but there will be no widespread destructive wave that had earlier been warned about.

Gerard Fryer, a geophysicist from the Pacific Warning Centre said: "We have seen a small tsunami at Port Alexander 100 miles south of the epicentre.

"The tsunami amplitude was 13cm which suggests there may be troublesome waves in the immediate area of the quake, but beyond that there is no hazard so we do not have a tsunami warning for anywhere else in the pacific."

Homes were shaken in Alaska's state capital of Juneau some 205 miles (330 kilometers) away, The Juneau Empire newspaper reported. But there was apparently no major damage in the city, the largest in the area.

Juneau resident Archie Hinman told the Empire the quake "shook my Juneau home violently enough to awaken the entire family. No apparent damage."

The earthquake reading was based on the open-ended Moment Magnitude scale used by US seismologists, which measures the area of the fault that ruptured and the total energy released.

A similar 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit Canada's Queen Charlotte Islands, located just south of the current epicentre, last October. That quake did trigger a small Pacific tsunami which eventually reached the US state of Hawaii without causing any damage.

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