A powerful earthquake 60 miles west of Craig shook the Alaskan coast at midnight Friday. The 7.5 magnitude earthquake prompted a tsunami alert for communities along a 700 mile stretch of coastline, reaching from Alaska to Vancouver Island, Canada and prompted some to rush to higher ground for safety. The warning ceased Saturday, after the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center advised that the waves were not high enough to pose a threat to surrounding areas.

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The US Geological Survey reported that the earthquake occurred 60 miles from the Alaskan coast around midnight on Friday. Moments later, a tsunami warning was issued, affecting an area of 700 miles along the coastal areas of Alaska to the north of Vancouver Island, Canada. The first estimation by the US Geological Survey’s measuring the earthquake at a magnitude of 7.7, but was later adjusted to s 7.5 magnitude quake, with a depth of 6.2 miles. There has been no reports of injuries or significant tidal movements.

“It was the most intense earthquake I’ve felt in my 10 years here. I’m pretty sure there was stuff falling off of shelves,” said Sitka Police Chief Sheldon Schmitt. “There is no report of any wave activity here,” he added. Evacuation sirens came shortly after the quake, prompting a rush to higher ground. The announcements reportedly had a similar effect in Craig. “Several citizens elected on their own to move to higher ground. Several locations in Craig were set up for staging (and) shelter,” said Chief Ely, adding that “no evacuation was ordered.”

After the alert cancellation, there have been reports of some areas experiencing sea level changes. The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center expects fluctuation in sea levels for a brief period of time, but does not foresee any danger.

Via Huffington Post

Photos by Flickr users Neva in 2012 and Eric in DUB