7.2-magnitude earthquake prompts tsunami warning in Alaska

Monitoring bodies recorded a 7.2-magnitude earthquake off southern Alaska, triggering a brief tsunami advisory.

The earthquake was felt widely throughout the Aleutian Islands, the Alaskan Peninsula and Cook Inlet regions, according to the Alaska Earthquake Centre.

In Kodiak, Alaska, sirens warned of a possible tsunami and sent people driving to shelters late at night, according to video posted to social media.

The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake occurred 106 kilometres south of Sand Point, Alaska, at 10.48pm on Saturday, local time.

It was initially reported as 7.4-magnitude but downgraded to 7.2 soon after.

The US National Weather Service sent a tsunami advisory saying the quake occurred at a depth of 21 kilometres.

The agency cancelled the advisory about an hour after the first alert.

There were an estimated eight aftershocks in the same area of Alaska, including one measuring 5.0-magnitude within three minutes of the original earthquake, KTUU-TV reported.

Residents were advised not to reoccupy hazard zones without clearance from local emergency officials, KTUU reported.

Small sea level changes were still possible, KTUU reported.

Alaska experiences thousands of earthquakes each year, most of which are too deep and too small to be felt.

It is the US’s most seismically active state and the location of the second-largest earthquake ever recorded, according to the Alaska Earthquake Centre.

In 1964, a magnitude-9.2 earthquake in Prince William Sound caused extensive damage throughout south-central Alaska.

The tremor late Saturday occurred in the same region as several other earthquakes over 7 magnitude in the past few years, The centre said via Twitter.

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