No tsunami risk to New Zealand following 8.1 earthquake in Alaska

9:25 pm on 29 July 2021

There is no tsunami threat to New Zealand from the massive magnitude 8.1 earthquake in the Alaska Peninsula this evening, Civil Defence says.

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Photo: NWS Tsunami alerts

The strong quake was located about 91 kilometres east southeast of Perryville, Alaska, at a depth of 46.7 km.

The National Emergency Management Agency and GNS Science were earlier assessing whether the earthquake, which registered at 6:16pm (NZT), has created a tsunami and whether that could affect parts of the country.

"If a tsunami has been generated in this location it is not likely to arrive in New Zealand for at least 12 hours," a statement from Civil Defence said.

In its latest statement, it said there was no tsunami risk to New Zealand.

"New Zealand coastal areas may experience strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore tomorrow. Be cautious if you are at the beach or on the water," Civil Defence said.

The US Tsunami Warning Center has forecasted that any tsunami waves would be less than than 0.3m above the tide level for New Zealand and the Pacific.

A tsunami warning has been issued for the US Pacific territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, while the Pacific Warning Centre is also assessing the risk to other Pacific countries. There's no tsunami threat for Anchorage in Alaska.

There have been at least two strong aftershocks, including a preliminary magnitude 6.2 and magnitude 5.6, the USGS has reported.