The last time the National Tsunami Warning Center issued a watch was several months ago, Hale said, while a true warning - which was issued in Alaska on Tuesday - hasn't occurred for a couple years.
The U.S. Geological Survey initially said the quake had a preliminary reading of 8.2 and struck 278 kilometres southeast of Kodiak, Alaska at a depth of about 10 kilometres. The quake's epicenter was located off the country's coast, and 25 minutes after the initial shockwaves, a tsunami hit the town of Tongoy.
There were reports of rumblings being felt as far as Anchorage which is hundreds of miles from where the quake hit, although the city was not in the warning zone and not believed to be in danger.
Kodiak officials warned residents to evacuate if they lived in low-lying areas.
A tsunami alert was issued following a large quake off the coast of Alaska.
Around 4:40 a.m., the tsunami warning was cancelled and people at designated evacuation centres were allowed to slowly begin streaming back to their homes.
The Tsunami Watch for the California coast has been cancelled, according to the National Weather Service.
A tsunami along Avila Beach could cause San Luis Creek to overflow, causing flooding as far inland as Highway 101, he said. The tsunami sirens were not used for this incident, Hicks said. A total of more than 100 people in the tsunami zone, from Alaska and down the Pacific coasts of Canada and the United States, were killed. "Definitely the longest, and I was born here", Rand said.
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A magnitude 7.9 quake was reported in the Gulf of Alaska early Tuesday morning, triggering a tsunami watch for the entire West Coast.
Meg Devlin, who lives near Victoria's Gorge waterfront, said she was awakened by a message at 3:02 but didn't recognize the phone number for Victoria's Vic-Alert emergency notification service, so she ignored it.
Seaside, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Portland, is considered the most vulnerable OR coastal town because so many people live in the inundation zone, far from high ground.
But the Alaska Earthquake Center has received no reports of damage.
There are secondary benefits of warning wide swaths of people, Fode said, because people also warn one another.
According to official reports from the National Weather Service, a powerful 7.9 quake hit just off the coast of Alaska and the Chignik Bay late Monday.
While the wave never materialized, locals endured several tense hours as they followed news of the channel water levels going down and harbor officers reporting the water receding. Those warnings come not just on cellphones but also, in Anchorage, through a text communication system called Nixle that goes out to roughly 38,000 people.
He added the aftershocks could be as powerful as a magnitude five, which is considered a "moderately strong" quake.
"I figured I'd probably just better play it safe".