Major 7.5 magnitude earthquake triggers tsunami warning in Alaska

New Delhi (NVI): A tsunami alert was issued after a major 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska on Monday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Residents were evacuated to higher ground as tsunami warnings covered much of the southern coast of the remote US state, including the thinly populated Alaska Peninsula, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

However, the tsunami warning was downgraded to a less-severe advisory, with NOAA stating that affected areas “should not expect widespread inundation”, just over two hours after the quake.

Furthermore, two-foot waves were recorded at the tiny nearby city of Sand Point, some 60 miles (100km) from the epicenter of the quake which struck at a depth of 25 miles (40 km).

The at-risk zone extended hundreds of miles northeast to the entry of the Cook Inlet. But it stopped short of the state’s largest city of Anchorage, located some 600 miles (1,000 km) from the epicenter and at the end of that gulf.

The quake was widely felt in communities along the southern coast, including Sand Point, Chignik, Unalaska and the Kenai Peninsula, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center, which said a magnitude 5.2 aftershock was reported 11 minutes later, centered roughly in the same area.

Several aftershocks, including one with a magnitude of 5.9 and one that was 5.8, struck in the hour after the big quake.