Residents scrambled to higher ground or to evacuate coastal towns late Wednesday and early Thursday after a massive earthquake struck off Alaska's coast, triggering aftershocks and now-canceled tsunami warnings.
Pat Branson, mayor of Kodiak, the major city of Alaska's Kodiak Island, told CNN the magnitude 8.2 earthquake was the strongest in the area since the 1960's. The quake triggered the area's third evacuation in 18 months.
If the magnitude 8.2 estimate holds, the quake may be the most powerful in North America since a magnitude 8.7 earthquake in Alaska, Brian McNoldy, senior research associate at University of Miami's Department of Atmospheric Science, said on Twitter.
At least two strong aftershocks with preliminary magnitudes of 6.2 and 5.6 occurred within a half hour of the first quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center early Thursday canceled a tsunami warning issued for parts of the state.
"Remember, strong and unusual currents may continue for several hours," a tweet from the center said. "If you have damage, please report it to your local officials."
The tsunami warning was canceled after waves of less than one foot arrived onshore, The Anchorage Daily News reported.