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7.5 magnitude Alaska earthquake triggers tsunami advisory

CBS News logo CBS News 10/20/2020 Peter Martinez
map: alaska-earthquake-today.jpg © U.S. Geological Survey alaska-earthquake-today.jpg

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the Alaska Peninsula on Monday afternoon, triggering a tsunami warning in the region. The warning was downgraded to an advisory within a few hours, and then was lifted entirely later Monday after waves about 2 feet high rolled onto the shore in some areas. 

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Some schools on the peninsula were evacuated earlier in the day, but there were no reports of damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake occurred at 1:54 p.m. PT some 56 miles southeast of Sand Hill and nearly 600 miles southwest of Anchorage. The earthquake had a depth of about 25 miles. Several large aftershocks were also recorded at magnitudes 5.8, 5.7, 5.2 and 5.5.

Emergency sirens were activated in Alaska and the Kodiak Emergency Operations Center monitored the situation, CBS affiliate KTVA-TV reported. Police in the city of Homer urged residents in low elevation areas to move to higher ground while the alert was in place.

David Adams, a co-manager of a bed and breakfast in Sand Point, told The Associated Press that the quake "was a pretty good shaker here" and said "the structure itself is sound." He also said that all guests were accounted for. "It just kind of happened all of a sudden," he added.

A Cold Bay, Alaska, resident shared video from her living room as she and her three children huddled under a table when the quake rattled their home, KTVA-TV said.

"We are getting very accustomed to these earthquakes, and I've learned to just accept that this is what we have to endure when we decide to live between volcanoes and an active plate, the ring of fire," Candace Nielsen told the station.

The National Weather Service in Los Angeles and San Diego said there was no tsunami threat to the West Coast. An advisory was put in place Monday afternoon for the Hawaiian islands, but again there were no reports of large waves or any damage.

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