Tsunami Watch Canceled in California After 7.9-Magnitude Earthquake in Alaska Prompts Alerts

Officials canceled a tsunami watch in California Tuesday after a 7.9-magnitude earthquake rattled parts of Alaska and prompted the warning.

The powerful earthquake was off the coast of the Last Frontier’s Kodiak Island and shook the surrounding area just before 1:45 a.m. PST, according to the United States Geological Survey. It was recorded an estimated 175 miles southeast of the island.

Originally, the USGS reported the temblor with an 8.2 magnitude but they downgraded it just after 3 a.m.

As a result of the powerful quake, Oregon, Washington and the California-Mexico border were all under the tsunami watch. As of 4:30 a.m., those warnings were canceled.

The National Weather Service estimated if the tsunami were to hit southwest California, it would have arrived between 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Most observed tsunamis in California history have been small, but a magnitude-9.2 quake off Alaska in March 1964 generated powerful waves that slammed coastal areas, including the Northern California community of Crescent City, where 11 people were killed. A surge about 20-feet high flooded nearly 30 city blocks, according to the Department of Conservation. 

Quakes in the Alaska Subduction Zone also generated a tsunami in April 1946 that caused flooding about 1,000 feet inland in Half Moon Bay on California's Central Coast.

In March 2011, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake in the Tohoku region of Japan led strong tsunami currents that damaged harbors along California's coast. 

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