‘It was a pretty good shaker’: 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Pacific Ocean prompts short-lived tsunami scare for Alaska, Hawaii – USA TODAY

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake jolted Alaska’s southern coast on Monday afternoon, triggering a tsunami warning for The Last Frontier and a short-lived tsunami advisory nearly 2,500 miles away in Hawaii.

The quake struck in the North Pacific Ocean just before 1 p.m., about 67 miles southeast of Sand Point, a town of about 900 people off the Alaskan Peninsula, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. The tsunami warning was downgraded about two hours later to an advisory that stretched until about 9 p.m. before being canceled.

“It was a pretty good shaker here,” said David Adams, co-manager of Marine View Bed and Breakfast in Sand Point. “You could see the water kind of shaking and shimmering during the quake.”

A magnitude 5.2 quake was reported 11 minutes later in roughly the same area, according to the earthquake center. Wave levels reached 2 feet along Alaska’s southern coast, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center.

About six hours after the first temblor, the tsunami center issued an advisory for the state of Hawaii but stressed that a “major tsunami” was not expected to hit the islands.

The advisory was cancelled about two hours later.

The size of the initial quake was originally reported as a 7.4, but later revised to a 7.5, said Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He said an earthquake of that size, in this area, is not a surprise.

“This is an area where the Pacific Plate is subducting underneath the North American Plate. And because of that, the Pacific Plate actually goes underneath the North American Plate, where it melts,” Caruso said, noting that’s why there are volcanoes in the region. “And so we commonly have large, magnitude 7 earthquakes in that area.”

A 7.8 earthquake in July also prompted a tsunami warning for Alaska’s southern coast that sent some residents inland for higher ground before an all-clear from the tsunami center.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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