Tsunami warning canceled after strong earthquake off Alaska Peninsula

Boats in Sand Point leave the harbor at around 11:30 p.m. Saturday due to a tsunami warning, which was later canceled. (Theo Greenly/KUCB)

A tsunami warning has been lifted for a swath of Alaska coastline after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit off the Alaska Peninsula late Saturday.

The strong earthquake struck roughly 60 miles south of Sand Point shortly before 11 p.m. and was followed by several aftershocks, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center.

It triggered a tsunami warning for the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island. Sirens sounded in local communities, with officials urging residents to seek higher ground. The tsunami warning was later downgraded to an advisory and was canceled altogether by 1 a.m. Sunday.

Some Anchorage residents got this alert to their cellphones late Saturday, July 15, 2023. (Tegan Hanlon/Alaska Public Media)

The National Tsunami Warning Center said the maximum observed height of waves off King Cove and Sand Point was half a foot. It said some areas may continue to see small sea level changes.

The tsunami warning also stirred Anchorage residents late Saturday, with some reporting that they got the emergency alert on their phones.

The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has previously said that it’s unlikely that an earthquake could generate a large tsunami in Anchorage, and has had issues with the alerts going to city residents in the past.

At 11:32 p.m. on Saturday, the National Weather Service posted on Twitter: “Anchorage is NOT in the area affected by the Tsunami Warning. We will look into this issue.”

RELATED: Anchorage residents should not have gotten tsunami phone alert after Aleutian quake, warning center says

Alaska Public Media’s Tegan Hanlon and KUCB’s Theo Greenly contributed to this story. Updated July 16, 12:15 p.m.

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