8.2 Magnitude Earthquake off Alaska Triggers Tsunami Warning

Tsunami warnings have been issued for Alaska, Hawaii, and New Zealand.
Ameya Paleja
Location of Earthquake epicentreUSGS

An 8.2 magnitude earthquake was reported southeast of the Alaskan native village of Perryville, at 10:15 pm local time, triggering a tsunami warning from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

According to the USGS, the quake is a result of thrust faulting between the Pacific and North American Plates at a depth of about 20 miles (32 km). The nearest human habitation is Perryville at a distance of 64.9 miles (104.5 km) and has a population of 113 people as per the last census.

 A tsunami warning had been released for South Alaska, the Alaskan Peninsula and as far as New Zealand, where the tsunami would take 12 hours to reach, Gizmodo reported.  At 12:30 am local time, Alaska Earthquake Center tweeted that the tsunami warning was being lifted while still asking residents to remain vigilant. 

So far, two strong aftershocks have been reported, one of magnitude 6.2 while the other had a lesser magnitude of 5.6. Overall, 19 aftershocks that can be felt (Magnitude 3 and above) have already occurred and the USGS estimates that the number of aftershocks can be as few as 330 or as many as 29,000.  

Although earthquakes are hard to predict, according to USGS, large earthquakes are common in this region with at least eight instances of quakes of magnitude 7 or higher. In July last year, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred about 38 miles (62 km) from the current one, whereas a 9.2 magnitude earthquake was recorded in March 1964 within a 155 mile (250 km) radius of the current earthquake.