Tsunami Warning In Effect From Attu to Nikolski

A tsunami advisory is in effect for Unalaska. The advisory stretches from Unimak Pass to Nikolski.

Public Safety says people do not need to evacuate to high ground at this time. They say residents should avoid shore areas, but don’t need to take any other action.

There is a tsunami warning in place in the Western Aleutians, from Attu to Nikolski, and for the Pribilof Islands. People in that area should move to high ground and avoid coastal areas in case of wave action.

The tsunami alerts stem from an underwater earthquake recorded just before 1 p.m. today, about 30 miles northwest of Amchitka Island in the Western Aleutians. The quake happened at a depth of about 60 miles. Preliminary magnitude estimates are between 7 and 8.

That’s a powerful quake, which automatically triggers a tsunami warning. But the Alaska Earthquake Information Center says there’s very little tsunami risk from a quake so deep underwater.

They also say the quake does not have anything to do with the volcano on watch in that area. Semisopochnoi has been experienced a series of small tremors over the past couple of weeks. But the AEIC’s Natasha Ruppert says it’s not related.

“Earthquakes that are related to volcanos are very shallow, right beneath the surface,” she says. “This one is about 100 kilometers deep.”

Again, the tsunami advisory in Unalaska does not mean residents have to take any action. A tsunami warning is in effect for coastal areas from Attu to Nikolski and in the Pribilof Islands, St. Paul and St. George.

Annie Ropeik is a reporter for KUCB in Unalaska.

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