8.2 Earthquake Just off U.S. Coast!!! Tsunami Warning For California, Alaska and Canada.A tsunami warning was issued for parts of Alaska and Canada, with a tsunami watch in place for the whole US west coast CREDIT: US NATIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER
A tsunami alert has been issued for the west coast of America after a powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off Alaska.
The quake hit 157 miles south east of the town of Kodiak at about 9.30am GMT on Tuesday (12.30am local time).
It was in the Gulf of Alaska at a depth of 6.2 miles (10km), the US Geological Survey reported.
The earthquake prompted a tsunami warning for coastal Alaska and the west coast of British Columbia in Canada.
Less severe tsunami watches were issued for the US west coast - the entire coasts of California and Oregon and part of Washington state.
Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, issued an extreme warning, saying there is "extraordinary threat to life or property".
The alert told people living on the coast to "go to high ground or move inland". There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.
About two hours after the quake, there had been no reports of a wave hitting Kodiak, which was projected to see the first hit at about 1.45am (10.45am GMT).
Lt Tim Putney, of the Kodiak Police Department, said: "We haven't seen anything yet or had any reports of a wave."
However, officials were telling people to remain at evacuation centres until further notice. He said the town has several shelters above 100ft and people below that level were being encouraged to move to higher ground.
A map issued by the US National Tsunami Warning Center showed the at-risk areas.
Tue Jan 23 10:07:47 UTC 2018 event picture
The US National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said "widespread hazardous tsunami waves were possible" on coastal areas "even far from the epicentre".
After the earthquake struck, a buoy in the Gulf of Alaska reportedly recorded a 32ft (10m) water surge. Data showed the water height reduced soon afterwards.
Here is the buoy which reported a 32 foot water rise shortly after the powerful 8.2 magnitude earthquake just south of Alaska.
#TsunamiWarning Alaska and Canadian West Coast
People reported on social media that the quake was felt hundreds of miles away in Anchorage.
Some living on the coast of Alaska were sent tsunami warnings telling them: "Go to high ground or move inland."
Earthquake shook ground 'for at least 30 seconds'
Kodiak police chief Tim Putney said he was woken by the earthquake, which he estimated shook for at least 30 seconds.
"I've been Kodiak for 19 years that was the strongest, longest lasting one I've ever felt," he said.
But he said the police department has received no reports of damage, adding: "We have people with their eyes on the sea, from a safe distance."
Heather Rand, who was 360 miles away in Anchorage, told CNN it felt like the longest earthquake she had ever experienced.
"It was a very long, slow build up. Creepy, more than anything. Definitely the longest, and I was born here," she said, adding the only damage was cracks in the wall.
'Move inland to higher ground... the first wave may not be the largest'
In a warning for Alaska and British Columbia, the Anchorage Office of Emergency Management said: "If you are located in this coastal area, move inland to higher ground.
"Tsunami warnings mean that a tsunami with significant inundation is possible or is already occurring.
"Tsunamis are a series of waves dangerous many hours after initial arrival time. The first wave may not be the largest."
'This is not a drill... just go high' - radio station alert
A local radio station on the Alaskan island of Kodiak, close to the epicentre, urged listeners to move away from coastal areas.
"This is a tsunami warning. This is not a drill. Please get out to higher ground," said the announcer on KMXT public radio.
"If you are on the flats, get up on one of the hills... just go high."