An 8.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the coast of Alaska triggered a tsunami watch in Hawaii – with a warning that waves may even be felt as far away as Australia.
Alerts were issued for the US state, as well as the Peninsula and Pacific coastal areas from Hinchinbrook Entrance to Unimak Pass, Guam, and American Samoa.
However, these threats were later revised down after the US Tsunami Warning System deemed they “had passed”.
Thu Jul 29 07:33:22 UTC 2021 event picture pic.twitter.com/c6JL49fzRZ
— NWS Tsunami Alerts (@NWS_NTWC) July 29, 2021
The quake struck at 10.15pm on Wednesday local time, at a depth of 46.7, the US Geological Survey said.
The earliest estimated arrival of the first tsunami in Hawaii was 12.53am local time (10.45am GMT), but the watch for the islands was cancelled 90 minutes later.
Preliminary seismic data suggests the quake would have been widely felt by almost everyone in the area of the epicentre and might have caused light to moderate damage.
An alert issued by the US Tsunami Warning System said: “Based on all available data a tsunami may have been generated by this earthquake that could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicenter.”
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In a final message, the system said: “Based on all available data there is no tsunami threat to the state of Hawaii. Therefore the tsunami watch for Hawaii is now cancelled.”
The impacts may be felt as far as Australia and New Zealand, with the UTWS predicting waves “less than 0.3 meters above the tide level” in these areas.