Alaska earthquake: Preliminary magnitude 7.8 quake strikes off Alaskan coast

The earthquake was centered 60 miles, or 98 kilometers, south-southeast, of Perryville, Alaska, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake is considered shallow at about six miles, or 10 kilometers, deep.

“Anything below 70 kilometers is considered a shallow quake,” CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar previously said. “That’s important, because shallow earthquakes often cause the most damage, compared to the ones that are deeper, regardless of the strength.”

A tsunami warning has been issued following the earthquake, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The warning is in effect for south Alaska and the Alaska peninsula — Pacific coasts from Kennedy Entrance, Alaska (40 miles southwest of Homer) to Unimak Pass, Alaska, according to the Tsunami Warning Center.

There is no threat to Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and California, according to the National Weather Service.

Earthquakes are more likely to develop into tsunamis if they are high in magnitude, are shallow, and are thrust earthquakes rather than strike slip earthquakes, according to the USGS. Quakes between magnitudes 7.6 to 7.8 have the potential to produce destructive tsunamis.

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