A tsunami warning issued for coastal Alaska and British Columbia was downgraded early Tuesday morning following a magnitude 7.9 earthquake beneath the Gulf of Alaska prompted mass evacuations. The National Weather Service sent out an emergency alert to cellphones, warning of danger along the coast and warned residents of low-lying areas to get out. “Go to high ground or move inland,” it prompted. A tsunami was confirmed about 2:30 a.m. local time and was expected to hit the fishing town of Homer at less than 1 foot high, but locals spent much of the early morning waiting to see whether the event would cause significant damage. The tsunami warning was downgraded to an advisory before 3 a.m. local time for most Alaskans, but officials warned evacuees to remain on higher ground. People in Anchorage reported on social media that they felt the effects of the 12:31 a.m. quake, which was centered about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak and was 12 miles deep. “Please heed local warnings to move inland or to higher ground,” said Gov. Bill Walker, in a statement.
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