Thousands of people evacuated their homes and dashed for higher ground after a tsunami alert was issued following a huge 7.9-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Alaska.
A huge 32-foot rise in water was recorded by a buoy off Cordova in Alaska not long after the earthquake struck with locals talking of being 'terrified' as they were woken by sirens in the middle of the night.
The entire US west coast was put on tsunami alert with those in British Columbia, Alaska and on the Aleutian islands advised to move away from coastal areas, said the US Tsunami Warning System.
People within three blocks of the Pacific coast in San Francisco or five blocks of the bay area were told to prepare to evacuate if required but the tsunami watch warning was later stood down.
The powerful quake struck at a depth of 10km at around 12.30am local time around 157 miles southeast of Chiniak.
The earthquake hit when many would have been asleep with locals told to prepare for aftershocks measuring up to 6 in magnitude.