Tsunami warning for Aleutians after 8.0 quake

Updated: 2014-06-24 07:33


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WASHINGTON - A local tsunami warning was issued after an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean west of Alaska's Aleutian Islands on Monday, the US Geological Survey and the National Tsunami Warning Center said.

The warning covered coastal areas of Alaska from Nikolski to Attu, the center said, adding the level of tsunami danger was being evaluated for other US and Canadian Pacific coastal areas.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned of widespread, dangerous coastal flooding and powerful currents swamping the region for hours after the wave arrives.

In addition, a tsunami advisory, less severe than a warning, was in effect for coastal areas of Alaska from Unimak Pass to Nikolski.

The quake struck shortly before 1 pm local time (2100 GMT), about 14 miles (23 km) southeast of Little Sitkin Island, Alaska, at a depth of about 71 miles (114 km), the USGS said.

Tsunamis are waves resulting from undersea quakes that can measure several meters high and can overwhelm coastal areas near and far, NOAA said.

It takes a large quake of magnitude 7.0 or higher to produce a tsunami, the center said. In 2004, a tsunami produced by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake struck near Indonesia and 240,000 people were killed, the center said.