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Earthquake with Magnitude 8.0 Strikes Alaskan Coast

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LITTLE SITKIN ISLAND, Alaska) -- A powerful magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska Monday, prompting officials to issue a tsunami warning for the state's coastal regions.

The quake, which shook an area about 15 miles from Little Sitkin Island, was initially deemed a 7.1 on the Richter scale before it was upgraded to an 8.0.

In an initial tsunami warning, officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association warned people in the state's coastal areas to be aware that "the first wave may not be the largest."

The warning said "widespread dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful currents are possible and may continue for many hours," even after a tsunami has reached land.

The warning was later downgraded, and widespread inundation is no longer expected in the area.

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