Four people are feared dead after tsunami waves struck the coast of Greenland on Saturday night.

A 4.1 magnitude earthquake, which struck 28 kilometres north of the northwest village of Nuugaatsiaq, is believed to have partially triggered the tsunami, according to a report from Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa, the national broadcaster in Greenland.

Greenland map

Reports say a total of 39 people have been evacuated from Nuugaatsiaq, Greenland, after tsunami waves struck the coastal community.

The local newspaper, Sermitsiaq, reported that the four feared dead were inside their home in Nuugaatsiaq when waves struck and swept the structure into the ocean.

KNR says Nuugaatsiaq has been evacuated, adding that the waves also struck the communities of Uummannaq and Illorsuit. A helicopter and boats have been deployed to assist in the search and rescue effort.

Residents took to social media to post videos of the flooding.

A video posted by Olina Angie K Nielsen on Facebook, which has since been taken down, showed residents of what is believed to be the community of Illorsuit running from waves that flooded homes on the shoreline.

The BBC is reporting that a total of 39 people have been evacuated from Nuugaatsiaq. A number of injuries have also been reported.

Many residents in Nunavut have family ties in Greenland, which has a population of about 56,000.

"Based on the magnitude, we suspect it wasn't the earthquake itself that triggered the tsunami, but in all likelihood, the earthquake triggered an underwater landslide, and that is what triggered the tsunami," said Allison Bent, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada.

"Tsunamis that are triggered by landslides tend to be very local. They're not the ones that cross the ocean."

Bent said it is highly unlikely the tsunami would cause flooding in Nunavut.

With files from Joanne Stassen