‘All Clear’ Called After Earthquake Threatens Tsunami off of AK’s Chignik Bay

Courtesy Emily Kwong/KCAW photo / According to a tweet by Emily Kwong of KCAW radio, Valerie and Delilah Hinchman of Sitka wait for the all clear, signaling they can return to their homes. The island community was evacuated around 1 a.m., following a 7.9 earthquake off the Gulf of Alaska.

Thousands evacuate as National Weather Service pushes ‘Emergency Alert of ‘Tsunami danger’ to regions’ cellphones.

School and shelters later get ‘all clear'.

A 7.9 quake off the coast of Alaska threatening a Tsunami has fallen flat and an ‘all clear’ has been called allowing evacuated residents to return home in Alaska communities. According to official reports from the National Weather Service, a powerful 7.9 earthquake hit just off the coast of Alaska and the Chignik Bay late Monday.

Initially, the quake prompted a tsunami warning for a large section of Alaska’s coast and parts of Canada.

The National Weather Service put out warnings to cellphones in Alaska, with the message, “Emergency Alert. Tsunami danger on the coast. Go to high ground or move inland.” One public station, KMXT in Kodiak issued an urgent advisory: “This is a tsunami warning. This is not a drill. Please get out to higher ground.”

Later, the U.S. Tsunami Warning System downgraded the threat to an advisory for Alaska’s Chignik Bay.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there were several milder aftershocks after the quake and the epicenter was located about 6 miles below the surface and 175 miles southeast of Kodiak.

U.S. Tsunami Warning System / The U.S. Tsunami Warning System’s image of the offshore location of a 7.9 earthquake that prompted a possible tsunami warning.

In an NPR article, one of their member stations KTOO reported a mild result to the quake at that point, reporting only “several waves around the state of under a foot.”

After the downgrade, In Sitka, Alaska, schools converted to shelters during the tsunami warning were given the all-clear. Sitka’s evacuation affected a community of an approximate 9,000 on an island in Southeast, Alaska.

Reporter Emily Kwong of Raven Radio posted to Twitter:

“Chimes going off in Sitka, Alaska, as booming emergency voice sounds the all clear: ‘Repeat. The tsunami warning has been canceled. It is safe to return to coastal areas.’ City says school will happen today. Kids I’ve spoken with have mixed feelings about that.”

Six hours later Kwong posted: “UPDATE: No wave action reported in Sitka, Alaska. City still advising residents to remain on high ground, but nerves seem to calming at the school.”

Kwong also posted an image of two smiling girls sitting at at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School, waiting for the ‘all-clear’ to return home.

“Valerie and Delilah Hinchman of Sitka wait for the all clear, signaling they can return to their homes. The island community was evacuated around 1 a.m., following a 7.9 earthquake off the Gulf of Alaska.”

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter Follow

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