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
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.
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.