A strong and shallow earthquake of magnitude 8.2 struck the Alaskan peninsula late on Wednesday, prompting tsunami warnings in the US state and heightened surveillance across the pacific.
There were no immediate reports of loss of property or life. Tsunami warning sirens were sounded close to a Walmart store in Kodiak, Alaska, a video filmed by a local resident and obtained by Reuters showed.
The US National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) issued alerts for southern parts of Alaska, the volcanic peninsula itself, and Pacific coastal areas from Hinchinbrook entrance to Unimak pass.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy tweeted that the state’s emergency operation centre had been activated and authorities were contacting communities in the tsunami warning areas.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake, which struck at 10:15pm local time, was at a depth of 35 kilometres.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said it had cancelled warnings of possible tsunami threats issued to Hawaii and the US Pacific territory of Guam.
The NTWC said it was evaluating the level of tsunami danger for other US and Canadian Pacific coastal areas.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency was investigating whether there was a possibility of a tsunami hitting Japan, public broadcaster NHK said. There were no tsunami alerts on Japan’s Meteorological Agency website.
Authorities in New Zealand also said they were assessing if there was any danger to coastal regions.
The tremor struck about 91km east-southeast of Perryville in Alaska. It was about 800km from Anchorage, Alaska’s biggest city. The National Weather Service tweeted that there was no tsunami threat to Anchorage.
The USGS added that the quake was followed by eight aftershocks in the region, with two above magnitude 6.0.