Tsunami warning off after 6.8 quake near Alaska
Published Friday, September 2, 2011 5:55PM EDT
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A 6.8-magnitude earthquake in the Pacific Ocean prompted a brief tsunami warning early Friday morning for Alaska's Aleutian Islands.
The warning was cancelled after only a small wave was recorded in the community of Atka, Alaska.
"In Atka, they had a little bump of a wave, but nothing of any kind of a destructive power. Just a wave," said Jeremy Zidek, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Homeland Security.
The earthquake struck at about 2:55 a.m. Alaska time, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Gov. Sean Parnell said there was no report of injury or significant damage but he took the opportunity to remind Alaskans to be prepared for a disaster, to have at least a week's worth of supplies like food and water on hand.
The tsunami warning was issued for coastal areas of Alaska from Unimak Pass to Amchitka Pass, remote and not heavily populated areas.
Residents were evacuating to higher ground in Atka but then stopped at the cancellation, Zidek said.
A woman who answered the phone at the city hall in Unalaska, Alaska, but declined to give her name said people at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, were awakened by sirens.
"We have some people on high ground, but not a lot," she said before the warning was cancelled. "Sirens woke us all up -- everybody's moving."
The state emergency response centre was staffed early Friday morning.
The preliminary measurement was that it was a 7.1-magnitude quake, but the USGS later put the official size at 6.8.
In June, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 in the same area of the Aleutians also prompted a tsunami warning.