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Tsunami Alert For West Coast After Massive Earthquake

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A tsunami warning has been sent out after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck off Alaska's Kodiak Island.

The earthquake struck at about 12:30 a.m. approximately 170 miles southeast of Kodiak Island, the Daily Mail reported. A tsunami warning was then sent out for the state's coast, urging residents who live in low-lying areas to evacuate and flee for higher ground.

"Emergency Alert. Tsunami danger on the coast. Go to high ground or move inland," read a text message from the National Weather Service to residents in the area.

Several residents fled for safety. Some sought haven at local schools that had been transformed into shelters.

The first wave was projected to reach Kodiak an hour after the earthquake. But after 90 minutes, no waves had appeared.

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"We haven't seen anything yet or had any reports of a wave," Lt. Tim Putney of the Kodiak Police Department told the Daily Mail.

Putney said the tremor woke him up from his sleep, and shook for at least 30 seconds.

"I've been [on] Kodiak for 19 years that was the strongest, longest lasting one I've ever felt," Putney said.

Officials insisted that local residents should remain in evacuation centers until further instructions. Residents in low-lying areas were still urged to evacuate, and the area had several shelters above the 100-foot mark.

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But only a few hours after the warning was issued, officials at the National Tsunami Center canceled it as waves did not show up in coastal Alaska regions.

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management added that there have been zero reports of damage.

While an advisory remained for a small part of the state, warnings were ultimately canceled for California, Hawaii, Washington and Oregon. Officials in Japan added that they had no tsunami threats in their area.

According to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center, the earthquake was felt in several communities on the Kenai Peninsula and some areas in southern Alaska. They added that there were no immediate reports of damage.

A 30-foot wave just under 200 miles southeast of Cordova, Alaska, was recorded around the same time as the earthquake, NBC News reported. However, it is unclear if that wave was related to the quake.

"We know one of the buoys showed a significant water rise right next to where the earthquake happened, but the next buoy didn't seem to experience that," meteorologist Bill Karins said. "We don't know yet what this means. It could have malfunctioned. We just don't know at this stage. It's too early to tell."

Sources: Daily Mail, NBC News / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: GMA and AP via Daily Mail

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