PERRYVILLE, Alaska (CBS SF/AP) -- A warning for large tsunami generated waves slamming into the San Francisco Bay Area coastline was lifted early Thursday morning after a major 8.2 magnitude earthquake and dozens of strong aftershocks rocked the Alaskan coastline.
The major quake struck at about 11:15 p.m. in the Pacific Ocean, 56 miles east southeast of Perryville, Alaska and immediately triggered a tsunami warning for the San Francisco Bay Area.
But the alert by the national tsunami center was lifted at around 2:50 a.m.
"US West Coast residents: there will be no further alerts issued for this event. No significant tsunami is expected. Once again, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alaska - all clear."
While the alert was lifted, the center did warn that "strong & unusual currents may continue for the next several hours."
Dozens of aftershocks measuring as high as 6.1 in magnitude continued to rumble in through fault zone along the Alaska coast.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, over the next week there is a chance of one or more aftershocks that are larger than magnitude 8.2. It is likely that there will be hundreds of smaller earthquakes of 3 magnitude or higher aftershocks.
The quake occurred as the result of thrust faulting at shallow depth on the subduction zone interface between the Pacific plate and the North America plate, where the Pacific plate begins subducting to the northwest beneath Alaska.
Large earthquakes in this region are common; the same subduction zone hosted the second largest earthquake recorded on modern instrumentation in March 1964 (M9.2 Alaska earthquake), and in 1938 a M8.2 event occurred in a very similar location to Thursday's earthquake.
Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake should have been widely felt by almost everyone in the area of the epicenter.
The quake triggered tsunami warning sirens to go off in communities along the Alaskan coast sending residents scrambling for safety.
Aside from rattled nerves, the temblor may have caused light to moderate damage in the Alaskan communities of Perryville, Chignik Lake and Sandpoint.
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