M7.9 earthquake off Alaskan coast prompts tsunami watch on North Coast


EUREKA – A M7.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska, prompting a tsunami watch along the West Coast.
When the earthquake struck around 1:30 Tuesday morning all National Weather Service locations were alerted including the eureka office on Woodley Island.
Meteorologists got to work evaluating the preliminary data. NWS issued a tsunami warning for Alaska and a tsunami watch for areas along the west coast.
A “warning” alerts communities to the potential need for action such as evacuation. A tsunami “watch” informs communities the situation is being monitored and action may be needed.
Eureka National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Ryan Aylward said, “This was a situation where we ramped up. The counties were ready. Emergency managers were prepared. The harbors were ready to send people out if they needed to, but they were investigating it. We waited and made sure there was no threat and then we just called everything off.”