Tsunami warning DOWNGRADED to an advisory

Update: 3:33 am

The National Weather Service has lifted the tsunami warning for coastal Alaska. It has been downgraded to a tsunami advisory.

That means that while a wave has been recorded in the Gulf of Alaska, it’s not big enough to require evacuations.

The Tsunami Warning Center says a wave of about six inches was observed in Kodiak. Residents are warned that though the wave is not large enough to require evacuations, they should be cautious near the water, and there may be dangerous and unexpected tides and currents.

The wave was caused by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake that struck just after 12:30 am this morning, about 175 miles SE of Kodiak, at a depth of about 12 miles.

The warning prompted tsunami sirens to go off in Sitka, Kodiak and Unalaska, and residents evacuated to higher ground.



Update from KTOO and Alaska Public Media staff

 The National Weather Service has issued a tsunami warning for virtually the entire Gulf of Alaska coastline after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck. The weather service advises people on the coast to move inland to higher ground.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake struck in the Gulf of Alaska about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak at 12:32 a.m.

Kodiak Alaska 145 AM AKST. January 23.
Elfin Cove Alaska 150 AM. AKST. January 23.
Seward Alaska 155 AM. AKST. January 23.
Yakutat Alaska 200 AM. AKST. January 23.
Sitka Alaska 200 AM. AKST. January 23.
Langara British Columbia 210 AM. AKST. January 23.
Valdez Alaska 215 AM. AKST. January 23.
Cordova Alaska 220 AM. AKST. January 23.
Sand Point Alaska 220 AM. AKST. January 23.
Unalaska Alaska 240 AM. AKST. January 23.
Homer Alaska 250 AM. AKST. January 23.
Craig Alaska 300 AM. AKST. January 23.
Cold Bay Alaska 300 AM. AKST. January 23.
Adak Alaska 305 AM. AKST. January 23.
Tofino British Columbia 340 AM. AKST. January 23.
Shemya Alaska 345 AM. AKST. January 23.
Saint Paul Alaska 400 AM. AKST. January 23.

In Sitka, KCAW’s Robert Woolsey reports that their community’s warning sirens are also sounding. KCAW’s Emily Kwong reports the town is evacuating.

In Kodiak, KMXT reporter Kayla Desroches reports people moving to local schools, and up Pillar Mountain. There are reports of tsunami warning sirens sounding.

From @BordenMitch in : Tsunami sirens still going off, people out in the streets headed to higher ground because of the M 8.2

The National Weather Service has put out a list of locations and times when tsunamis are forecast to strike — Kodiak is earliest on the list at 1:45 a.m. The first wave may not be the largest.

We’ve also had reports of a strong earthquake felt on the Kenai Peninsula and tremors felts in Southeast Alaska.



We will give live updates on KSKA 91.1 FM as we have them. Please also watch the tsunami warning center website for updates.


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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 24 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori