PALMER, Alaska — A major earthquake jolted south-central Alaska today, knocking out power to one community and prompting authorities to urge the evacuation of low-lying coastal areas because of a possible sea wave.
The quake struck at 11:23 a.m. PST and measured 7.4 on the Richter scale. It was centered 300 miles southeast of Anchorage in the Gulf of Alaska. The Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer issued a warning covering nearly the entire southern coastline of the state and coastal British Columbia. A tsunami watch was in effect for the rest of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California. In Yakutat, the small village closest to the epicenter, the quake knocked out power but caused no major structural damage, City Manager Jim Filip said.