Environment

Strong and shallow M7.0 earthquake hits Anchorage, tsunami warning issued


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.0 hit Anchorage, Alaska at 17:29 UTC (08:29 AKST) on November 30, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 42.8 km (29.9 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.0 at a depth of 45 km (28 miles). The quake was followed by M5.8 at 17:35 UTC.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 4.1 km (2.6 miles) SE of Point MacKenzie (population 529), 12.7 km (7.9 miles) N of Anchorage (population 298 695) and 19.4 km (12.1 miles) W of Eagle River (population 24 793), Alaska.

There are about 390 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

Some 52 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 277 000 strong, 48 000 moderate, 70 000 light and 1 000 weak.

The quake caused widespread power outages and damage.

tsunami warning is in effect for coastal areas of Cook Inlet and Southern Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.

Full NTWC Tsunami Warning Message Number 2, issued 18:05 UTC:

WEAK51 PAAQ 301805
TSUAK1

BULLETIN
Public Tsunami Message Number 2
NWS National Tsunami Warning Center Palmer AK
905 AM AKST Fri Nov 30 2018

UPDATES
-------
 * Revised magnitude


...THE TSUNAMI WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT...


Tsunami Warning in Effect for;

 * COASTAL AREAS OF COOK INLET AND SOUTHERN KENAI PENINSULA IN
   ALASKA


For other US and Canadian Pacific coasts in North America, 
the level of tsunami danger is being evaluated.  Further
information will be provided in supplementary messages.


PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS - UPDATED
-------------------------------------------
 * The following parameters are based on a rapid preliminary
   assessment and changes may occur.

 * Magnitude      7.0
 * Origin Time    0829 AKST Nov 30 2018
                  0929  PST Nov 30 2018
                  1729  UTC Nov 30 2018
 * Coordinates    61.3 North 149.9 West
 * Depth          25 miles
 * Location       35 miles SW of Palmer, Alaska
                  5 miles N of Anchorage, Alaska


FORECASTS OF TSUNAMI ACTIVITY
-----------------------------
 * Tsunami activity is forecasted to start at the following
   locations at the specified times.

                 FORECAST
                 START
SITE             OF TSUNAMI
----             ----------

 * Alaska
Kodiak           0925 AKST Nov 30
Seward           0930 AKST Nov 30
Homer            1145 AKST Nov 30


OBSERVATIONS OF TSUNAMI ACTIVITY
--------------------------------
 * No tsunami observations are available to report.


RECOMMENDED ACTIONS
-------------------
Actions to protect human life and property will
vary within tsunami warning areas.

If you are in a tsunami warning area;

 * Evacuate inland or to higher ground above and beyond
   designated tsunami hazard zones or move to an upper floor
   of a multi-story building depending on your situation.

 * Move out of the water, off the beach, and away from
   harbors, marinas, breakwaters, bays and inlets.

 * Be alert to and follow instructions from your local
   emergency officials because they may have more detailed or
   specific information for your location.

 * If you feel a strong earthquake or extended ground rolling
   take immediate protective actions such as moving inland
   and/or uphill preferably by foot.

 * Boat operators,
     * Where time and conditions permit, move your boat out to
       sea to a depth of at least 180 feet.

     * If at sea avoid entering shallow water, harbors,
       marinas, bays, and inlets to avoid floating and
       submerged debris and strong currents.

 * Do not go to the shore to observe the tsunami.

 * Do not return to the coast until local emergency officials
   indicate it is safe to do so.


IMPACTS
-------
Impacts will vary at different locations in the warning
areas.

If you are in a tsunami warning area;

 * A tsunami with damaging waves and powerful currents is
   possible.

 * Repeated coastal flooding is possible as waves arrive
   onshore, move inland, and drain back into the ocean.

 * Strong and unusual waves, currents and inland flooding
   can drown or injure people and weaken or destroy structures
   on land and in water.

 * Water filled with floating or submerged debris that can
   injure or kill people and weaken or destroy buildings and
   bridges is possible.

 * Strong and unusual currents and waves in harbors,
   marinas, bays, and inlets may be especially
   destructive.

 * Some impacts may continue for many hours to days after
   arrival of the first wave.

 * The first wave may not be the largest so later waves may
   be larger.

 * Each wave may last 5 to 45 minutes as a wave encroaches
   and recedes.

 * Coasts facing all directions are threatened because the
   waves can wrap around islands and headlands and into bays.

 * Strong shaking or rolling of the ground indicates an
   earthquake has occurred and a tsunami may be imminent.

 * A rapidly receding or receded shoreline, unusual waves and
   sounds, and strong currents are signs of a tsunami.

 * The tsunami may appear as water moving rapidly out to sea,
   a gentle rising tide like flood with no breaking wave,
   as a series of breaking waves, or a frothy wall of water.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND NEXT UPDATE
--------------------------------------
 * Refer to the internet site tsunami.gov for more information.

 * Pacific coastal residents outside California, Oregon,
   Washington, British Columbia and Alaska should refer to the
   Pacific Tsunami Warning Center messages at tsunami.gov.

 * This message will be updated within 30 minutes.

$$

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities. There is a low likelihood of casualties.

A yellow alert was issued for economic losses. Some damage is possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of the United States. Past events with this alert level have required a local or regional level response.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick masonry and reinforced masonry construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides and liquefaction that might have contributed to losses.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

***

For most up to date information on the tsunami, please check https://www.tsunami.gov/ and the following Twitter accounts:

Featured image credit: Google, USGS, TW


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