Tsunami warning issued for Homer and Gulf of Alaska

Jan 23, 2018

Latest update: 3:30

The National Weather Service Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer has downgraded the tsunami warning to an advisory. Homer City Manager Katie Koester says Homer residents in low-lying areas can return home. Residents are advised to stay out of the water as currents could be strong.

No wave was reported in Homer, but the National Weather Service reported a wave under a foot in Kodiak's harbor. Seward and Yakutat also saw waves measuring at about half of a foot. 

Koester says harbor staff have been sent to the harbor to check for damage from the quake. 

Update: 2:56 a.m. 

A tsunami warning has been issued for the Gulf of Alaska after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit about 175 miles Southeast of Kodiak City at 12:32 a.m. According to the Kodiak Police Department's Facebook page, no tsunami wave had hit Kodiak by 1:45 a.m., when the initial wave was expected. 

In Homer, residents could be seen moving to higher ground when tsunami sirens went off in the early morning hours. About 50 people gathered at the South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, and the city has opened the Homer High School as a shelter. 

By 2:50 a.m., no indication of a wave could be seen in Homer, although the Kodiak Police Department reported receding water in Kodiak's harbor at 2:30 a.m. The Kodiak Police Department also reported tide levels fluctuating six inches to one foot. 

Homer Police Chief Mark Robl says police are in low-lying areas telling residents to evacuate over loudspeakers. Robl says the city is monitoring water levels via cameras and that city staff has been evacuated off the Homer Spit. At about 2:50 a.m., Robl told KBBI he expects the city to monitor the situation for another hour. 

National Weather Service estimates tsunami wave arrival times as follows:

Kodiak Alaska 145 AM. AKST. January 23.
Seward Alaska 155 AM. AKST. January 23.
Elfin Cove Alaska 155 AM. AKST. January 23.
Sitka Alaska 200 AM. AKST. January 23.
Yakutat Alaska 205 AM. AKST. January 23.
Langara British Columbia 210 AM. AKST. January 23.
Valdez Alaska 215 AM. AKST. January 23.
Sand Point Alaska 220 AM. AKST. January 23.
Cordova Alaska 225 AM. AKST. January 23.
Unalaska Alaska 240 AM. AKST. January 23.
Homer Alaska 250 AM. AKST. January 23.
Craig Alaska 300 AM. AKST. January 23.
Cold Bay Alaska 300 AM. AKST. January 23.
Adak Alaska 305 AM. AKST. January 23.
Tofino British Columbia 340 AM. AKST. January 23.
Shemya Alaska 350 AM. AKST. January 23.
Saint Paul Alaska 400 AM. AKST. January 23.