A powerful earthquake sparked a tsunami warning along the coastlines of southern Alaska and British Columbia, but the alert was cancelled when no damaging waves were generated.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary reading of 7.5 and struck at 12:50 a.m. PT (11:50 p.m. local time Friday), about 102 kilometres west of Craig, Alaska and some 300 kilometres west-northwest of Prince Rupert, B.C.
The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center had issued a tsunami warning for the southern coast of Alaska, stretching for 765 kilometres to the northern tip of Vancouver Island — but the centre cancelled the warning a few hours later.
CBC meteorologist Joanna Wagstaffe said a small tsunami wave was generated off Port Alexander, Alaska. In addition, at least two strong aftershocks measuring 4.5 and 4.7 were reported after the initial quake.
The earthquake happened along the same fault line as the one that struck off B.C.'s Haida Gwaii last October, but in a section that has not seen this kind of strong seismic activity for a few hundred years, says CBC meteorologist and seismologist Johanna Wagstaffe.
"But there are dozens of smaller aftershocks occurring," Wagstaffe said.
"Woke me up from a dead sleep," said one woman describing the initial quake on her Twitter feed from Haida Gwaii, formerly the Queen Charlottetown Islands in B.C., which was hit by a 7.7-magnitude quake last October.
The quake also woke Carol Kulesha, mayor of Queen Charlotte City.
"I was asleep and I heard a clattering sound and the house was shaking, so I definitely felt this one, although it was nothing like the previous one that was 7.7," she said.Here in Vancouver we felt nothing, but CBC Radio is doing a good job of covering the quake and its response. The weekend morning show started an hour early, just after 5:00 a.m., and host Sheryl MacKay is interviewing people like Mayor Kulesha and others up the coast. It sounds as if the October quake put people in the right frame of mind; people got up and headed for high ground with their grab-and-go bags.