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Unalaska under tsunami advisory following volcanic eruption in Tonga Islands

TSUNAMI 220115.jpg
National Tsunami Warning Center

The tsunami advisory for communities in coastal Alaska, including the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, was canceled Saturday afternoon, shortly before 4 p.m. For that story, click here.

Updated 01/15/22 at 2 p.m.

A tsunami advisory remains in effect for Unalaska and coastal communities throughout the west coast. But while some Alaska communities have seen significant waves, officials say it likely won’t trigger an evacuation warning.

“You're not too far off, but we're not going to try to put you in a warning right now,” Scott Langley, senior electronics technician for the National Tsunami Warning Center, told KUCB Saturday morning.

The National Weather Service issued the tsunami advisory for much of coastal California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska – including the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands – following a volcanic eruption near Tonga in the South Pacific on Friday.

The largest waves in the Alaska region have hit the Aleutians and Alaska Peninsula, according to Langley. The 900-person community of King Cove recorded a wave of 3.3 feet, according to a tweet from the center.

Generally, the center would issue an evacuation warning for a wave larger than a meter, or about 3.28 feet. However, because this wave was just over the threshold and only recorded at one observation point, Langley said there was no reason to evacuate the region.

The center hasn’t received any damage reports from King Cove, Langley added. The only reports received have been from Hawaii and California.

“Be aware of what's going on,” he said. “Listen to your local emergency managers and stay away from the coast, if at all possible.”

Tsunami advisories were called off for portions of Southcentral and Southeast Alaska Saturday afternoon.

This is a developing story.

// // //

Updated 01/15/ 22 at 10:20 a.m.

A tsunami advisory remains in effect for Unalaska and coastal communities throughout the west coast. But while some Alaska communities have seen significant waves, officials say it likely won’t trigger an evacuation warning.

“You're not too far off, but we're not going to try to put you in a warning right now,” Scott Langley, senior electronics technician for the National Tsunami Warning Center, told KUCB Saturday morning.

The National Weather Service issued the tsunami advisory for much of coastal California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska – including the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands – following a volcanic eruption near Tonga in the South Pacific on Friday.

The largest waves in the Alaska region have hit the Aleutians and Alaska Peninsula, according to Langley. He said the 900-person community of King Cove has recorded waves of just over two feet. If those waves were to reach one meter – about 3.2 feet – he said the center would issue an evacuation warning.

The center hasn’t received any damage reports from King Cove, Langley added. The only reports received have been from Hawaii and California.

“Be aware of what's going on,” he said. “Listen to your local emergency managers and stay away from the coast, if at all possible.”

This is a developing story.

// // //

Updated 01/15/22 at 8:40 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a tsunami advisory for Unalaska following a volcanic eruption in the Tonga Islands.

No evacuation has been issued due to insignificant wave projections. The wave is expected to hit Unalaska at 6:50 Saturday morning.

The advisory is in effect for much of coastal California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska, including the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands.

The Unalaska Department of Public Safety has updated the advisory. It will now remain in effect until 10:57. Originally, the advisory was set to expire around 7 a.m.

This is a developing story.

// // //

Original story

The National Weather Service has issued a tsunami advisory for Unalaska following a volcanic eruption in the Tonga Islands.

No evacuation has been issued due to insignificant wave projections. The wave is expected to hit Unalaska at 6:50 Saturday morning.

The advisory is in effect for much of coastal California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska, including the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands.

Unalaska Department of Public Safety officials say the advisory will remain in effect until 7:58 a.m.

This is a developing story.

Hailing from Southwest Washington, Maggie moved to Unalaska in 2019. She's dabbled in independent print journalism in Oregon and completed her Master of Arts in English Studies at Western Washington University — where she also taught Rhetoric and Composition courses.
Hope McKenney reported for KUCB from 2019 until 2022. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2021.