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A van backs down the road as Tofino, British Columbia, residents and visitors flood out of the community center after the tsunami warning ends, on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. A tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia was canceled Tuesday morning after people living along parts of the province's coast evacuated to higher ground when a powerful earthquake struck off Alaska. (Melissa Renwick/The Canadian Press via AP)

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A powerful undersea earthquake sent Alaskans fumbling for suitcases and racing to evacuation centers in the middle of the night after a cellphone alert warned a tsunami could hit communities along the state's southern coast and parts of British Columbia.

By MARK THIESSEN & BECKY BOHRER , AP January 23, 2018