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Civil Defence alert: No tsunami threat after 8.2 Alaska earthquake

Civil Defence has confirmed there is no tsunami threat to New Zealand after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck Alaska this evening.

“Based on current information, the initial assessment is that the earthquake is unlikely to have caused a tsunami that will pose a threat to New Zealand,” the National Emergency Management Agency (Civil Defence) said.

“New Zealand coastal areas may experience strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore tomorrow.”

Earlier this evening, Civil Defence was assessing a tsunami risk to New Zealand after an 8.2 earthquake struck off the Alaska Peninsula at 6.16pm, at a depth of 17km.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) confirmed the tsunami threat from an 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the peninsula has passed.

Civil Defence said people do not need to evacuate unless directly advised by local civil defence authorities.

“If a tsunami has been generated in this location it is not likely to arrive in New Zealand for at least 12 hours.”

Two other earthquakes with preliminary magnitudes of 6.2 and 5.6 occurred in the same area within a half-hour of the first one, the US Geological Survey reported.

PTWC has issued a warning for Hawaii and Guam.

PTWC said some coastal regions near the Alaska Peninsula will remain under a Tsunami warning.

According to Honolulu Star Advertiser, The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center listed the magnitude as 8.1 and said “an investigation is underway to determine if there is a tsunami threat to Hawaii”. But the U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was magnitude 8.2 and hit 56 miles (91 kilometres) east southeast of Perryville, Alaska.

“Based on all available data a tsunami may have been generated by this earthquake that could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicentre,” PTWC said.

Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake should have been widely felt by almost everyone in the area of the epicentre. It might have caused light to moderate damage.

Moderate shaking probably occurred in Perryville, Chignik Lake and Sandpoint.

-Additional reporting AP

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