Tsunami warning issued after 7.9-magnitude earthquake off Alaska coast

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake near Kodak, AK sparked tsunami warnings and watches (NWS Service via CBS Newspath)

KODIAK, AK. —A 7.9-magnitude earthquake detected in the Gulf of Alaska has triggered tsunami warnings in Alaska and tsunami watches across several Western states.

The earthquake struck about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska, shortly after midnight in Alaska local time, according to preliminary figures from the United States Geological Survey. The quake had a depth of about 6 miles, according to USGS.

A tsunami warning was activated for southeast and south Alaska, including the Alaska peninsula and Aleutian islands, as well as British Columbia in Canada. A tsunami watch was also issued for Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington, according to the Tsunami Warning Center.

The National Tsunami Center canceled the tsunami warning around 6:30 a.m. CT, but allowed an advisory to remain in effect for part of the state.

Nathaniel Moore who was on a boat in Kodiak, said he felt it “shake really good for a minute.” He and others on the commercial fishing vessel got off the boat after the earthquake to head for higher ground amid the tsunami warning.

“The whole town is evacuating,” he told CNN early Tuesday.

Heather Rand, who was in Anchorage, Alaska, told CNN that the earthquake "was a slow roller, so it was felt for at least a minute before the real rolling started. Nothing fell off the walls and I didn't have to wake my kiddo."

She said it felt like the longest earthquake she had ever experienced.

"It was a very long, slow build up. Creepy, more than anything. Definitely the longest, and I was born here," Rand said. She reported no damage besides cracks in the drywall.