Published Tuesday , on 23 January 2018, 14:30:14 by Christophe Hitayezu

A tsunami warning was issued Tuesday for the Pacific Coast from Washington to Alaska after a major undersea earthquake hit southeast of Kodiak, according to the National Weather Service. Officials in some coastal areas urged people to seek higher ground.

The U.S. Geologic Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 7.9. The National Weather Service put the magnitude at 8.2.

The quake was located about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak in the Gulf of Alaska at a depth of about 6.2 miles at about 12:30 a.m. Alaska time.

The warning was in effect for coastal areas north of the Washington border from British Columbia to Alaska. The National Weather Service sent messages to cell phones in Alaska with the message: “Emergency Alert. Tsunami danger on the coast. Go to high ground or move inland.”

“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 epicenter,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

The Washington Post said that tsunami watches were in effect along the entire West Coast and Hawaii.

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