The earthquake recorded at 12:53 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time was centered about 13 miles southeast of Little Sitkin Island
A powerful magnitude 8.0 earthquake was reported near Alaska's Aleutian Islands on Monday afternoon that triggered a tsunami warning, but only small waves have been reported hitting coastal communities thus far.
The National Tsunami Warning Center, which initially issued a warning that significant inundation was possible, kept advisories in place for parts of the sparsely populated islands, saying conditions could be dangerous to people near the water.
"There could be strong currents, but still stay away from the beach," said Dave Nyland, a geophysicist at the warning center.
The magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck early Monday afternoon. The earthquake recorded at 12:53 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time was centered about 13 miles southeast of Little Sitkin Island or 25 miles north Amchitka Island, an area prone to earthquakes located approximately 1,300 miles southwest of Anchorage.
There were several strong aftershocks, but no immediate reports of damage.
Residents of coastal communities in Alaska evacuated, but later came back to check on the damage after the all clear was given for each area of impact.
"We're seeing water leave our bay, so we do have everybody up on the Bering Hill area, where our primary evacuation center is at," City Manager Layton Lockett told The Associated Press by telephone as he gathered some paperwork before heading out to join about 300 residents at the center.
Monday's earthquake was initially reported with a magnitude of 7.1, but that was upgraded to 8.0, said Natasha Ruppert, a seismologist with the Alaska Earthquake Center. There were several strong aftershocks, with magnitudes ranging from 3.5 to 5.9. Nyland said those would be too small to trigger a tsunami.