World / US and Canada

Major quake hits Alaska, tsunami warning canceled

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-06 11:33

WASHINGTON - A 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the US state of Alaska early Saturday, triggering a tsunami warning that was later lifted.

The temblor, whose magnitude was initially placed at 7.7, occurred at 0858 GMT, with its epicenter located 106 km west of Craig, Alaska, at a depth of 9.9 km, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The major earthquake prompted tsunami observers to issue a warning for coastal areas near the epicenter, which was eventually expanded to cover the shores from Cape Fairweather, Alaska, to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, Canada.

But the feared "significant widespread inundation of land" did not come, and the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center canceled the warning, saying just small sea-level changes were detected in some areas.

"A tsunami was generated during this event but no longer poses a threat," said the center.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. But some voluntary evacuations were reported in some of the affected coastal communities.

Last October, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck off Canada's Queen Charlotte Islands, not far from the epicenter of the latest one. A tsunami warning was issued, but the resulting tsunami was below dangerous levels.

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