Tsunami from Alaska earthquake will not impact San Juan Islands

  • Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 9:58am
  • News

Submitted by the San Juan County Department of Emergency Management

All tsunami watches for the West Coast are canceled, as of around 5 a.m., Jan. 23. No impacts are forecasted.

San Juan County Department of Emergency Management staff does not expect significant tsunami impacts in the San Juan Islands from a distant source earthquake, which is one that locals do not feel. The best warning is a quake that locals feel.

According to earthquake.alaska.edu, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck off of Alaska’s Kodiak Island at 12:31 a.m. on Jan. 23.

DEM staff has a map online with locations in the islands that are prone to inundation at sjcgis.org/tsunami-inundation.

If you feel a big quake, get off of the water and low bank waterfronts, until you’re 25 feet or so above the water and three hours have passed with no impacts.

Staff will keep a close eye on these big quakes as science still has a lot to learn about the way the world works. If staff saw reason to alert islanders, they can message cell phones (as the state of Hawaii recently demonstrated), but would only use this as a tool of last resort for a confirmed threat. Staff would also look at door-to-door notifications, in known hazard areas, if timing and responder safety allowed.

If anyone has questions or wants to discuss further, contact dem@sanjuandem.net or 360-370-0587. Visit www.facebook.com/sanjuandem for more information.