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No tsunami risk in B.C after M7.5 earthquake hits Alaska

Tuesday, October 20th 2020, 6:15 am - The B.C. government determined there is no tsunami threat to the province following the M7.5 earthquake in Alaska.

The tsunami risk has passed in Alaska after a strong earthquake hit off the coast Monday afternoon local time, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The magnitude 7.5 tremor struck 91 kilometres southeast of Sand Point, Alaska. It occurred at a depth of 40.1 kilometres.

Alaska Earthquake

Parts of southern Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula were under a tsunami warning following the quake, but the alerts were dropped later Monday night. The B.C. government also determined that there was no tsunami threat to the province following the earthquake.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center tweeted that a wave height of 2 feet (0.6 metres) was observed at Sand Point, Alaska. Initially, officials had warned of the possibility of large waves within 300 kilometres of the earthquake's epicentre. Several aftershocks, including one with a magnitude of 5.9, also struck within the hour after the big quake.

B.C. and the U.S. Pacific Northwest are some of the most earthquake-prone parts of North America, and B.C. itself sees more earthquakes in a year than all the rest of Canada combined. in a year than all the rest of Canada combined.

That's because the region is part of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where the Juan de Fuca plate is descending beneath, or "subducting," the much larger North American plate. From time to time one plate will stick to another, causing a buildup of pressure that is released as earthquakes.

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