Tsunami Warnings Lifted After Major 8.2 Alaska Earthquake

The quake prompted a tsunami warning for parts of Alaska and Canada and a tsunami watch for the entire U.S. west coast

United States Geological Survey maps an 8.2 earthquake 278km SE of Kodiak, Alaska
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Update: All Tsunami warnings lifted after major 8.2 Alaska earthquake 

A magnitude 8.2 earthquake hit the Gulf of Alaska in the early hours of Tuesday, prompting authorities to warn people in the area to move away from the coast in case it causes a tsnuami.

The quake hit 256 km (157 miles) southeast of Chiniak, Alaska at a depth of 10 km at 0931 GMT, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

"If you are located in this coastal area, move inland to higher ground. Tsunami warnings mean that a tsunami with significant inundation is possible or is already occurring," Anchorage Office of Emergency Management said in a warning for Alaska and British Columbia.

Tsunami warnings for parts of Alaska and Canada and a tsunami watch for the entire U.S. west coast and Hawaii were issued - the watch for Hawaii has since been canceled.

"Based on all available data a tsunami may have been generated by this earthquake that could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicenter," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Larry LeDoux, superintendent of the Kodiak Island Borough School District, says schools were open as shelters and estimated there were about 500 people at the high school.

He described the atmosphere inside as calm, with people waiting for any updates.

He said sirens go off in the community every week, as a test to make sure they are working. He said the sirens were sounded for the early Tuesday tsunami warning.

Japan's meteorological agency said it was monitoring the situation but did not issue a tsunami alert.

Associated Press contributed to this report