• AFP-Jiji, staff report

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A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the Alaskan peninsula, triggering a tsunami warning for areas within 200 miles (300 kilometers) of the epicenter.

The shallow quake hit Tuesday local time about 500 miles southwest of Anchorage, and around 60 miles south-southeast of the remote settlement of Perryville, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

"Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters … hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 km of the earthquake epicenter," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

A tsunami warning was in effect for the Alaskan peninsula and south Alaska.

"For other U.S. and Canadian Pacific coasts in North America, the level of tsunami danger is being evaluated."

The quake was felt hundreds of miles away.

"Bed and curtains were going. Felt like a very long quake!" one witness in Homer, Alaska, 400 miles from the epicenter, said on the quake monitoring website msc-csem.org.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said there was a chance that "slight sea-level changes" would be seen in Japan but that tsunami damage was not expected in the country. "There is a possibility of a destructive local tsunami near the epicenter," said the agency, which evaluated the quake as being magnitude 7.5.

Alaska is part of the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire.

Alaska was hit by a 9.2 magnitude earthquake in March 1964, the strongest ever recorded in North America. It devastated Anchorage and unleashed a tsunami that slammed the Gulf of Alaska, the U.S. west coast, and Hawaii.

More than 250 people were killed by the quake and the tsunami.

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