No threat of tsunami in B.C. after Alaska quake: officials

There’s no threat to B.C. after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake near Sand Point, Alaska, that triggered a tsunami warning for parts of Alaska.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Emergency Preparedness said the province was informed there was no threat to the province’s coastline just before 4 p.m. by the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center in Alaska. The centre evaluates threats to the coastline from Alaska to California and relays the information to B.C. authorities.

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The size of the quake was originally reported to have been a magnitude of 7.4, but has been revised to a 7.5, said Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He said an earthquake of this size, in this area, is not a surprise.

“This is an area where the Pacific Plate is subducting underneath the North American Plate. And because of that, the Pacific Plate actually goes underneath the North American Plate, where it melts,” Caruso said, noting that’s why there are volcanoes in the region. “And so we commonly have large, magnitude-7 earthquakes in that area.”

The tsunami warning was issued by the National Tsunami Warning Center, following an earthquake off Sand Point, Alaska. The National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, said the tsunami warning was in effect for roughly 1,529 kilometres, from 64 kilometres southeast of Homer to Unimak Pass, about 129 km northeast of Unalaska.

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

“It was a pretty good shaker here,” said David Adams, co-manager of Marine View Bed and Breakfast in Sand Point. “We’re doing OK.” He said all guests were accounted for and “the structure itself is sound.”

“You could see the water kind of shaking and shimmering during the quake,” she said. “Our truck was swaying big time.” He didn’t take any photos or video: “It just kind of happened of all of a sudden.”

More to come

— With a file from The Associated Press

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