A biker leads a line of cars driving off the Homer Spit at about 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Homer, Alaska after a tsunami evacuation order was issued for low-lying areas in Homer. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer New)

A biker leads a line of cars driving off the Homer Spit at about 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Homer, Alaska after a tsunami evacuation order was issued for low-lying areas in Homer. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer New)

National Weather Service downgrades warning to ‘advisory’

Update: As of 2:45 pm. the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management has issued an all-clear notice for Homer and the Kenai Peninsula.

The tsunami warning for low-lying areas in Homer, Kachemak Bay and the Kenai Peninsula has been canceled, according to Dan Nelson, Emergency Manager for the borough. The borough confirmed the all-clear with the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Nelson said.

Because the tsunami warning sirens are connected to the National Weather Service warning system, sirens in Homer are not issuing the all clear, Nelson said.

At 3:06 p.m., the National Weather Service downgraded the warning to an advisory, with a predicted 1-foot wave at Sand Point.

The National Weather Service at about 12:55 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, issued a tsunami warning for low-lying areas in Homer and Kachemak Bay as well as coastal areas of Alaska from Kennedy Entrance to Unimak Pass. Sirens went off in Homer advising residents to evacuate to higher ground.

The danger zone is roughly below the Homer Bypass in Old Town, the Ocean Drive and Beluga Lake area, and the Homer Spit. The Homer Police Station is above the danger zone. For more information on danger zones, visit https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/emergency-information/be-tsunami-aware-be-tsunami-prepared-know-homers-evacuation-routes-and-safe.

An evacuation area has been set up at Homer High School.

The tsunami warning was issued after a magnitude 7.5 earthquake about 55 miles southeast of Sand Point. A warning means that a tsunami with significant inundation is expected or occurring, according to the National Weather Service. Warnings indicate that widespread dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful currents are possible and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.

The tsunami is predicted to it Sand Point at 1:55 p.m., Cold Bay at 2:45 p.m. and Kodiak at 2:50 p.m.

According to a notice from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, students and staff at Kachemak Selo School at the head of Kachemak Bay are evacuating to Radzolna School. Nanwalek and Port Graham are evacuating to higher ground. Seldovia residents are evacuating to Susan B. English School.

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.

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