A colossal 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Alaska on Monday, setting off a tsunami warning and sending families on the run to higher areas.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that an earthquake occurred 55 miles southeast of Sand Point at 4:54 a.m. EST.
Minutes later, the National Meteorological Service in Southern Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula issued a tsunami warning notifying residents that they were in danger.
"A series of strong waves and strong currents can hit the coastline near you," the warning said.
The video also showed tsunami sirens, which also sounded in coastal cities.
The warning was downgraded to a notice just over two hours after the quake.
The National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning near the Aleutian Islands in Alaska on Monday evening
Prior to the tsunami warning, officials recorded a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the southeast coast of Alaska
The cities of Sand Point, Cold Bay and Kodiak were listed in the tsunami warning on Monday night
The warning was issued for the towns of Sand Point, Cold Bay and Kodiak, all of which are sparsely populated.
Estimated tsunami arrival times were expected at Sand Point at 5:55 p.m., Cold Bay at 6:45 p.m., and Kodiak at 6:50 p.m. EST, the National Weather Service wrote.
The National Meteorological Service urged residents to stay away from the coastal waters until officials say it is safe to return.
Some schools in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District have been evacuated to a higher level, the district said on Twitter.
Raynelle Gardner, a secretary at Sand Point School in the Aleutians East Borough School District, said things were hectic because "this is an evacuation point".
"A series of strong waves and strong currents can hit the coasts near you," the warning from the National Meteorological Service said
Pictured: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed tsunami warning areas along the Alaskan coast after an earthquake on Monday
The magnitude of the quake was originally believed to have been 7.4, but has been revised to 7.5, said Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey.
He said an earthquake this size in the area would come as no surprise.
& # 39; This is an area where the Pacific plate subtracts below the North American plate. And because of this, the Pacific Plate actually goes under the North American Plate, where it melts, ”said Caruso, noting that this is why there are volcanoes in the region.
"And so we usually have big 7 earthquakes in this area."
The National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska said the tsunami warning was in effect for approximately 950 miles from 40 miles southeast of Homer to Unimak Pass, approximately 80 miles northeast of Unalaska.
The Alaska Earthquake Center said the quake was widespread in communities along the south coast, including Sand Point, Chignik, Unalaska, and the Kenai Peninsula.
"It was a pretty good shaker here," said David Adams, co-manager of Marine View Bed and Breakfast in Sand Point. "We're fine." He said that all guests were considered and "the structure itself is solid."
"You could see the water shaking and shimmering during the quake," he said. "Our truck swayed a lot." He didn't take any photos or videos: "It happened suddenly."
Rita Tungul, a front desk assistant at the Grand Aleutian Hotel in Unalaska, said she was trembling a little, but it wasn't severe. Your employee did not feel the quake at all, she said.
Connie Newton, owner of the Bearfoot Inn, a grocery, liquor and small hotel in Cold Bay, said it was like someone driving a truck into their building. Even so, nothing fell to the ground and she sustained no harm because she made her businesses earthquake proof by adding 5 cm risers to the outside of herself.
The Alaska Earthquake Center reported three more earthquakes with magnitudes between 5.0 and 5.2 after the first earthquake.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
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