UPDATE: At 2pm ET / 9am HT / 10am Alaska time, the NWS Tsunami Warning Center has CANCELLED the Tsunami Warning that was in effect for Alaska after not observing any tsunami.
A Tsunami Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service’s Tsunami Warning Center for coastal areas of Cook Inlet and the southern Kenai Peninsula in Alaska; this includes the cities of Kodiak, Seward, and Homer. A powerful 7.0 earthquake struck at 8:29am AKST / 12:29pm ET 5 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska. Damage has been reported in the Anchorage metro area but there are no reports of confirmed injuries or deaths at this time.
The Tsunami Warning Center believes Kodiak could be hit at 9:25am, Seward at 9:30am, and Homer at 11:45am local time.
If you are in a Tsunami Warning zone, e vacuate inland or to higher ground above and beyond designated tsunami hazard zones or move to an upper floor of a multi-story building depending on your situation. Move out of the water, off the beach, and away from harbors, marinas, breakwaters, bays and inlets. Be alert to and follow instructions from your local emergency officials because they may have more detailed or specific information for your location.
Those in coastal Alaska should take immediate protective actions such as moving inland and/or uphill preferably by foot if they feel strong aftershocks.
If time and conditions permit, boat operators should move boats out to sea to a depth of at least 180 feet. Mariners at sea should avoid entering shallow water, harbors, marinas, bays, and inlets to avoid floating and submerged debris and strong currents.
The government warns: do NOT go to the shore to observe the tsunami. Do NOT return to the coast until local emergency officials indicate it is safe to do so.
Impacts will vary at different locations in the warning areas. In the warning area, a tsunami with damaging waves and powerful currents is possible. Repeated coastal flooding is possible as waves arrive onshore, move inland, and drain back into the ocean. Strong and unusual waves, currents and inland flooding can drown or injure people and weaken or destroy structures on land and in water. Water filled with floating or submerged debris that can injure or kill people and weaken or destroy buildings and bridges is possible. Strong and unusual currents and waves in harbors, marinas, bays, and inlets may be especially destructive. Some impacts may continue for many hours to days after arrival of the first wave. The first wave may not be the largest so later waves may be larger. Each wave may last 5 to 45 minutes as a wave encroaches and recedes. Coasts facing all directions are threatened because the waves can wrap around islands and headlands and into bays.
Strong shaking or rolling of the ground indicates an earthquake has occurred and a tsunami may be imminent. A rapidly receding or receded shoreline, unusual waves and sounds, and strong currents are signs of a tsunami. The tsunami may appear as water moving rapidly out to sea, a gentle rising tide like flood with no breaking wave, as a series of breaking waves, or a frothy wall of water.
While a threat of tsunami exists in Alaska, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center does not believe there is a threat of tsunami to Hawaii or the west coast of the continental United States at this time. However, as additional data comes in, scientists will continue to evaluate should future advisories be needed.