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The Globe and Mail

Tsunami warning for B.C. cancelled after 7.5-magnitude quake

People gather at Sitka High School early Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Sitka, Alaska, following a 7.5-magnitude earthquake and after a subsequent tsunami warning was declared for hundreds of miles of Alaskan and Canadian coastline. The alert was canceled when no damaging waves were generated.

Daily Sitka Sentinel, James Poulson/AP

A powerful earthquake sparked a brief tsunami warning for a lengthy stretch of the British Columbia coast early Saturday, but no damaging waves were generated.

The 7.5-magnitude quake did generate a small tsunami, but the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said the waves didn't pose a threat.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at about 1 a.m. Pacific Time about 102 kilometres west of Craig, Alaska and about 10 kilometres deep.

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A tsunami warning quickly followed and covered about 1,125 kilometres of coastline from Cape Fairweather, Alaska to the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

A tsunami advisory was also issued for the B.C. coast to as far south as Victoria.

A warning means an area is likely to be hit by a wave, while an advisory means there may be strong currents without widespread inundation.

The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center had initially warned that "significant widespread inundation" of land was expected along with possible coastal flooding.

In its cancellation statement, the center said some areas were seeing just small sea level changes and there was no threat.

The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the quake was widely felt but it received no reports of any damage.

Several aftershocks have been recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey, with the largest measuring 4.7.

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Alex Godin, who was working at a Tim Hortons in Prince Rupert, B.C. when the quake struck, said the tremor was barely noticeable and "felt like a bump."

This earthquake was centered not far from the Haida Gwaii region of B.C., where a magnitude-7.7 quake struck last October but caused no damage.

A brief tsunami alert had been issued, but no giant waves materialized.

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