Alaska earthquake triggers brief tsunami warning, sends people scrambling to shelters

Alaska, Kodiak Island Larson Bay Cannery. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake triggered a brief tsunami advisory for southern Alaska late Saturday, but the advisory was canceled about an hour later, monitoring bodies reported.

The earthquake was felt widely throughout the Aleutian Islands, the Alaskan Peninsula and Cook Inlet regions, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center.

In Kodiak, Alaska, sirens warned of a possible tsunami and sent people driving to shelters late at night, according to video posted to social media.

The United States Geological Survey wrote in a social media post that the earthquake occurred 106 kilometers (65.8 miles) south of Sand Point, Alaska, at 10:48 p.m. Saturday. The quake initially was reported as 7.4 magnitude but downgraded to 7.2 soon after.

READ MORE: Alaska's Shishaldin Volcano explosion sends ash and steam 40,000 feet into the air

The U.S. National Weather Service sent a tsunami advisory saying the quake occurred at a depth of 13 miles (21 kilometers). The agency cancelled the advisory about an hour after the first alert.

READ MORE: Avalanche in Pakistan kills at least 11 members of nomadic tribe

Before the cancellation, the National Weather Service in Anchorage, Alaska, tweeted that the tsunami advisory applied to coastal Alaska from Chignik Bay to Unimak Pass, but Kodiak Island and the Kenai Peninsula were not expected to be impacted.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said shortly after the tsunami warning went out that there was no threat to the islands.

USA, Alaska, Kodiak Island Coastline At Karluk Village. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

There were an estimated eight aftershocks in the same area of Alaska, including one measuring 5.0 magnitude within three minutes of the original earthquake, KTUU-TV reported.

Residents were advised not to reoccupy hazard zones without clearance from local emergency officials, KTUU reported.

Small sea level changes were still possible, KTUU reported.

READ MORE: Here’s why the US leads the world in weather disasters

Alaska experiences thousands of earthquakes each year, most of which are too deep and too small to be felt. It is the U.S.'s most seismically active state and location of the second-largest earthquake ever recorded, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. In 1964, a magnitude 9.2 earthquake in Prince William Sound caused extensive damage throughout south-central Alaska.

The temblor late Saturday occurred in the same region as several other earthquakes over 7 magnitude in the past few years, The Center said via Twitter.

"The once quiet "Shumagin Gap" isn’t so quiet anymore!" the tweet said.