A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the southern coast of Alaska on Tuesday, sparking concerns of a tsunami before officials later confirmed no such warning was needed. CNN reports that the earthquake was recorded 50 miles southeast of the sparsely populated Perryville. The earthquake landed around 10:12 p.m. local time, although thus far there are no reports of significant damage.
Due to the power of the earthquake, warnings were issued for tsunamis in south Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula. The warnings were subsequently canceled on Wednesday, the National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed. People in Sand Point, an island with a small population just off the coast of the peninsula, were sent to higher ground due to the initial warnings. Some Sand Point individuals gathered at a local high school in the late hours, later returning home when Anchorage city administrator Jordan Keeler gave the all-clear.
"The first wave didn't materialize, which is a great thing," Keeler told the Anchorage Daily News. He added that citizens had been waiting to see if there were any aftershocks to come, or "God forbid, any other water level changes." In some videos shared to social media, residents noted that sirens due to the tsunami warning could be heard immediately following the earthquake.
The last significant earthquake to hit Alaska was a 7.1 magnitude quake in Nov. 2018.