No tsunami threat to NZ after Alaska earthquake: Civil Defence

Source: 1News

There's no active tsunami threat to New Zealand's coastlines following a large earthquake near Alaska earlier tonight, according to Civil Defence.  

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) say there is potential for strong or unusual currents and unpredictable surges at shorelines tomorrow as a result of the quake.  

"People do not need to evacuate unless directly advised by local civil defence authorities," NEMA said.

According to the US tsunami centre,   waves are forecast to be less than 0.3 metres above tide level for the coast of New Zealand.

That forecast is also applicable to American Samoa, Australia, China, Chile, Chuuk, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Guatemala, Hawaii, Honuras, Howland and Baker, Indonesia, Japan, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kermadec Islands, Kiribati, Kosare, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Midway Island, Nauru and New Caledonia.

The magnitude 8.1 quake struck off the coast of Alaska at around 6.15pm (NZ time) at a depth of 17km, according to NEMA.

"If a tsunami has been generated it is not likely to arrive in New Zealand for at least 12 hours," Civil Defence wrote on Twitter.

A tsunami watch has been issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) for both Hawaii and Guam.

While Anchorage, Alaska's most populous city, has been ruled as safe from any potential tsunami risks, according to the US National Weather Service.  

Two smaller earthquakes also struck in the area, including a 6.2 magnitude quake 137km south, south-east from Chignik at 18.23 and a 5.6 magnitude quake 139km south-east from Chignik, the US Geological Survey said.