The magnitude-8.3 earthquake that hit the Alaskan town of Seward, killing more than 3,100 people, was the strongest in more than two decades and the second-strongest since 1996, the US Geological Survey said Friday.
The quake’s epicenter was in Seward but the USGS says the earthquake also struck the town of Yakima in northern Washington state.
“There’s a significant risk of a tsunami from that,” USGS seismologist Mark Johnson told reporters in Anchorage.
The USGS said the epicenter of the earthquake was in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.
Johnson said there were no indications of damage to the buildings in the tsunami zone, although the USSS did not say exactly where the tsunami hit.
The earthquake was centered in Sewards immediate vicinity, at a depth of 1,828 kilometers (930 miles).
It was felt throughout Alaska, and at least 30 deaths were reported.
Johnson was not immediately available for comment.
It was the largest earthquake to hit the state since the 2004 Alaska tsunami, which killed at least 18 people.
The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said it had received reports of people in the coastal community of Sewards death.
The tsunami was centered about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the town, Johnson said.
It is not known how strong the quake was or how long it lasted.
Johnson and the US government have been scrambling to contain the threat posed by a series of quakes that have occurred in recent years, including the 2011 earthquake in Chile that killed at the time more than 800 people.
A series of earthquakes struck the state in 2016, but they were far weaker than the magnitude 6.9 that hit Seward.
The magnitude 6 earthquake that struck Seward in April killed at most 18 people, according to the USFSS.
That quake, which was centered 2,500 kilometers (1,200 miles) north of Sewell, was so powerful it rattled the ground and shook houses.
A 6.7 magnitude quake in June 2016 killed about 2,400 people, but its magnitude was not enough to cause widespread damage.
It happened about 6 miles (10 kilometers) north-south of Sewells epicenter, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Sewedons center of power.
The 7.8 quake, located about 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Sewall, struck just 30 miles (60 kilometers) away from Seward’s center.
Johnson, however, said it was too soon to say how strong an earthquake could be from a tsunami.
“We’ve got to see what happens before we say what is the risk from a magnitude-6,” he said.
“If we’re looking at a 7.7, then I don’t know how far a magnitude 6 can travel.
If we’re talking about a 7 and a magnitude 7, I can’t even see how that could go.”
He added that the US was in “an unprecedented situation.”
“I would be worried if the magnitude was up to that level.
The last time we had one was in the early 1990s, and that was when the last earthquake in Alaska was,” he told reporters.
Johnson also said the magnitude of the Alaska Tsunsai earthquake could have been stronger.
The Alaskans epicenter is roughly 500 kilometers (310 miles) northwest and east of the Aleutians center, Johnson added.
“It’s probably going to be one of the most powerful earthquakes in Alaska in decades,” he added.
The earthquakes hit at the same time that the United States was preparing for a possible repeat of the 2017 Alaska earthquake, which struck just weeks after a magnitude 5.9 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean, killing at least 787 people.
Johnson cautioned that the damage to buildings and infrastructure was still being assessed.
“As far as damage to building is concerned, the damage that has been done to the building and the damage caused by the earthquake is still being evaluated,” he explained.
The National Weather Service in Anchorage said the earthquake’s epicenters had been determined to be the Aleuts and Seward towns.
It said the US Army Corps of Engineers in Anchorage has not issued a tsunami advisory for the region.
The State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources issued a statement saying the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is in charge of the safety of the Seward area.
“The Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Recreation and Parks, and the Department of Fish and Game are working with Seward County and the National Weather Services to monitor the area for damage and potential evacuations,” the statement said.
Johnson did not provide a timeline for when the US and other countries would assess damage.
The disaster is the latest in a string of large earthquakes in the US.
In July, a magnitude 9.8 magnitude quake struck the New Mexico town of Santa Fe, killing nearly 700 people.
Last week, a 6.1 magnitude quake hit