The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning after a 7.7-magnitude quake struck off the coast of Queen Charlotte Islands in Canada late Saturday. The quake had a depth of 10.9 miles. There are no immediate reports of damage.
Fritz Engelhard, who lives in Masset, British Columbia, said he felt the tremor even though his town is 86 miles from the epicenter. Residents have been asked to seek higher ground because of the tsunami warning, he said.
A 5.8-magnitude aftershock was felt 96 miles south of Masset , Canada, according to the USGS .
Gerard Fryer, senior geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center put the magnitude of the quake into perspective -- and allayed much of the concern. "A 7.7 is a big, hefty earthquake. It's not something you can ignore," he said. But, he added, "this earthquake was partly under the island and mostly under shallow water." He went on to say: "I think we have to be thankful it happened where it did . .. if that were a heavily populated area, it would have caused significant damage. It definitely would have done significant damage if it had been under a city."