ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked buildings Friday morning in Anchorage and Kenai. It caused lamp posts and trees to sway, prompting people to run out of offices and seek shelter under office desks.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake was centered about 7 miles north of Alaska’s largest city.
Shortly after the quake, a tsunami warning was issued for the southern Alaska coastal areas of Cook’s Inlet and part of the Kenai Peninsula. However, these warnings were later rescinded.
The U.S. Geological Survey initially said it was a 6.7 magnitude earthquake and then reduced the magnitude to 6.6. The USGS is now reporting the earthquake at 7.0 magnitude.
An Associated Press reporter working in downtown Anchorage saw cracks in a 2-story building after the quake. It was unclear whether there were injuries.
People went back inside buildings after the earthquake but a smaller aftershock a short time later sent them running back into the streets again.
Vincent Nusunginya reporting in Kenai outside the Peninsula Clarion offices noted, “This earthquake got my heart racing. It was in my personal top three. There seems to be some concern about ruptured gas lines. Cell phone service is down, but data still works. Fire trucks patrolling.”
The latest updates on the earthquake in Alaska
Crews are repairing damaged roadways in Nikiski.
Alaska Department of Transportation will post infrastructure conditions and situation updates on public information webpage http://dot.alaska.gov/earthquake2018/.
As road closures are established, drivers can also access travel information by visiting 511.Alaska.Gov or dialing 5-1-1. Report earthquake-related state road conditions by phone to (907) 269-0770 or via email email@example.com.
Scientists say the damaging Alaska earthquake and aftershocks occurred on a type of fault in which one side moves down and away from the other side.
Seismologist Lucy Jones told reporters Friday at the California Institute of Technology that the fault is within the Pacific tectonic plate that is diving under Alaska, a mechanism that produces the largest earthquakes in the U.S.
Jones says the type of damage being reported is not surprising.
She says the area in which the quake occurred has loose sediments containing lots of water and when the ground moves it creates liquefaction, or “temporary quicksand.”
Jones says liquefaction can cause damage to structures because the ground moves out from beneath them.
Tim Craig, an owner of Anchorage True Value Hardware in south Anchorage, says the quake knocked hundreds of items onto the floor and caused two stockroom shelves to become unbolted from the wall and collapse.
No one was hurt. Six off-duty employees, and some customers, offered to help clean up after the earthquake hit Tuesday morning.
Craig and his wife were driving to the store when the quake hit and he says their car was bouncing.
An overhead traffic signal bobbing over their heads caused immediate concern and his wife pulled over because she was worried it would fall.
The quake knocked out numerous stoplights, snarling traffic in downtown Anchorage.
April Pearce was at her desk at work in the assessor’s office in Soldotna and started filming once she realized the rumbling of the Alaska earthquake was the start of something big.
In the video, the murmurs of her colleagues can be heard as filing cabinets jostle.
Pearce says: “Holy smokes.”
She says in an email later that people were gasping and panicking and called the event “spooky.”
Her home escaped major damage, but some Christmas decorations fell down.
Fifteen-year-old Sadie Blake and other members of the Homer High School wrestling team were at an Anchorage school gymnasium waiting for a tournament to start when the earthquake hit.
She says the bleachers started rocking “like crazy” and then the lights went out. People ran the bleachers in the pitch dark, trying to get out.
Team chaperone Ginny Grimes says Tuesday’s quake created “a gym full of screams.”
By the time it was over, Sadie was still in the gym and says she started crying while hanging out in a nearby mall with her team.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Emergency Manager Dan Nelson said there had been reports of minor damage to public infrastructure, including on Mile 19 of the Kenai Spur Highway in Nikiski, where the road cracked along the center. The borough is working with state agencies to do a more comprehensive assessment of public buildings, including schools, roads, and bridges, he said.
Molly McCammon says was at home waiting for a work teleconference when the quake started.
She says she’s lived in Alaska 45 years and called Friday’s earthquake “worst earthquake I’ve ever been in.”
McCammon had taken a tour Thursday of the Anchorage Emergency Operations Center in her role as a member of the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council. One of the topics was earthquake preparation.
She says: “Then it happens the next day.”
McCammon says the quake reminded her how much more emergency preparation she needs to do. She plans to sign up for an emergency alert system and make sure she has an emergency kit on hand.
All Kenai Peninsula Borough School District after-school events are canceled, including Kenai Central High’s Forever Dance event, Pegge Erkeneff, communications liaison said. Nikiski Middle/High School is the only school who will be released early at 12:45 p.m. due to water and plumbing issues, Erkeneff said. Erkeneff said school district updates can be found using their Facebook page or mobile app.
A rockslide has closed the Seward Highway at Milepost 112 roadway. Repairs are in progress.
Homer Electric Association Director of Member Services Bruce Shelley said 42 homes on Candlelight Drive in Kenai were affected but otherwise only small outages were reported.
Jim Lackey, operation supervisor at the Kenai City Airport, said no damage was reported and the airport was “open and good to go.”
Lindsay Hobson, ENSTAR communications manger, said that the company was still assessing damage but had received numerous reports of gas leaks.
“We are responding to those as our first level of order business to make sure that residents are safe and customers are safe,” Hobson said.
Hobson advised that anyone who smells natural gas should leave the area and once in a safe place call to report the leak.
Soldotna Central Emergency Services had not received any earthquake-related calls as of 11:30 a.m. Kenai Police dispatch also reported they had not received any earthquake-related emergency calls.
Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll says he’s been told parts of a scenic highway that heads from Anchorage toward mountains and glaciers have sunken and “completely disappeared” following the earthquake.
He says officials are evaluating the damage to the Glenn Highway but some was so significant that it will probably “take a long time to repair.”
Doll also says there has been damage reported to bridges.
President Donald Trump has tweeted that the federal government “will spare no expense” helping Alaska following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that shook Anchorage.
Trump on Tuesday tweeted “you have been hit hard by a ‘big one’” and asked residents to follow officials’ directions.
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin tweeted that her family is OK but said her “house is not.” She did not elaborate but said she thinks “that’s the case for many, many others.”
The police chief and the mayor of Anchorage said they were unaware of any reports of deaths or injuries after the quake shook buildings and opened up crevices and cracks in roads.
Anchorage Fire Department Jodie Hettrick says there were reports of buildings collapsing but she did not have further details.
Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll says he is unaware of reports of deaths or serious injuries following the earthquake that rocked the state’s largest city.
Doll made the statement to reporters Tuesday after the quake shook buildings and damaged road infrastructure.
It was felt 350 miles (560 kilometers) away in Fairbanks.
The Alaska Railroad has suspended all operations amid “severe” damage at their Anchorage Operations Center and unknown track conditions throughout the state.
External Affairs Manager Tim Sullivan says the operations center lost power and is experiencing flooding following the quake Friday that rocked Anchorage and surrounding areas.
He says: “It’s tough to run trains when you have no dispatch.”
Sullivan says no reports of track damage have yet been reported, but it will take a day or two for staff to fully assess conditions. Until the tracks are cleared for use, all railroad operations will are suspended, Sullivan said.
The quake was felt 350 miles (560 kilometers) away in Fairbanks.
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The operators of the 800-mile (1,290-kilometer) long trans-Alaska pipeline said they shut the system down as a precaution following the earthquake in southcentral Alaska.
Michelle Egan is a spokeswoman with Alyeska (Al-ee-es-kuh) Pipeline Service Company.
She says there is no known damage to the pipeline.
She says data will be assessed at an operations center and a physical inspection of the line will be performed.
She says pipeline can be restarted before the physical assessment is complete.
The Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage says it has canceled elective surgeries and that the hospital experienced multiple water leaks.
The hospital says in a statement that there was not a large influx of patients after the quake rocked Anchorage Tuesday morning.
There were no reports of serious injuries or deaths and there were no reports of injuries at the hospital.
Kenai Walmart had shut its doors to customers citing earthquake damage.
The Federal Aviation Administration says operations have stopped at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport following the earthquake that rocked buildings and damaged roads.
FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer in Washington state said Friday it’s not known when inbound flights will resume and that travelers should check with their airlines.
Kenitzer and Alaska transportation spokeswoman Meadow Bailey say telephone service is out at the airport.
The FAA spokesman says the airport tower was evacuated and flights that could be diverted were being sent to Kodiak.
He says inbound international flights to Anchorage were being guided by controllers at a regional radar approach facility.
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker tweeted that he has issued a disaster declaration.
The White House says President Donald Trump has been briefed about the earthquake that rocked Anchorage, causing damage to buildings and infrastructure.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted Tuesday that Trump is monitoring the reports of damage.
Trump is in Argentina at the Group of 20 summit.
Huckabee adds: “We are praying for the safety of all Alaskans.”
There have been no immediate reports of serious injuries or deaths following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake.
The earthquake that shook Anchorage and damaged roadways also knocked many traffic lights out of service and has snarled traffic.
Jeremy Zidek, a spokesman for the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said the earthquake also disrupted some communications and electrical service.
The Anchorage School District canceled classes for its more than 100 schools and asked parents to pick up their kids when they could.
The district wants to examine its buildings for potential damage and check for any potential gas leaks.
State government offices in Anchorage were also closed so officials could assess damage.
Officials have canceled a tsunami warning for coastal areas of southern Alaska following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that shook Anchorage.
National Tsunami Warning Center senior technician Michael Burgy said the tsunami warning was automatically generated,
Officials monitored gauges to see if any underwater landslides would generate tsunami waves.
Because there were none, the warning was canceled.
Police had told residents of the island community of Kodiak to head to higher ground.
The quake damaged buildings in Anchorage and buckled roads and sent people running into the streets.
There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or deaths.
Police in Alaska’s island community of Kodiak say residents are heeding advice to head to higher ground because of a tsunami warning issued after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook Anchorage.
Kodiak has about 6,000 residents and the city is about 250 miles south of Anchorage.
The tsunami warning issued by the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, was automatically generated following the Friday morning temblor.
Senior center technician Michael Burgy says gauges are being monitored to determine if any underwater landslides have generated tsunami waves.
If there are none, the warning will be canceled.
The warning could be expanded if concrete data is received about waves that have been generated.
Brandon Slaton was alone and home and soaking in the bathtub when the Alaska earthquake struck.
Slaton just moved to Kenai, Alaska with his wife from Arizona and had never felt an earthquake before the 7.0 magnitude temblor hit on Tuesday morning.
Slaton says the quake created a powerful bath-and-forth sloshing in the bathtub and before he knew it, he’d been thrown out of the tub by the force of the waves.
His 120-pound mastiff panicked and tried to run down the stairs, but the house was swaying back and forth so much that she was thrown off her feet and into a wall and tumbled to the base of the stairs.
Slaton says: “It was anarchy. There’s no pictures left on the walls, there’s no power, there’s no fish tank left. Everything that’s not tied down is broke.”
Slaton ran into his son’s room after the shaking stopped and found his fish tank shattered and the fish on the closet floor, gasping for breath.
He grabbed the Betta fish and put it in another bowl.
He says the area was eerily quiet. His children, 11 and 16, were evacuated from school.
Police in Alaska’s Kodiak island community have told residents to head to higher ground amid the tsunami threat from the earthquake that rocked buildings in Anchorage, caused damage to roads and sent office workers running out to the streets.
Kodiak is an island about 200 miles south of Anchorage.
The U.S. Geological Survey said it was a 7.0-magnitude quake and tsunami warnings were issued for southern Alaska coastal areas.
Photographs posted to social media sites showed damage that included collapsed ceiling tiles at an Anchorage high school and buckled roadway pavement in places.
Cereal boxes and packages of batteries littered the floor of a grocery store after the earthquake Tuesday morning that rocked buildings in Alaska’s largest city, and picture frames and mirrors were knocked from living room walls.
Alaska averages 40,000 earthquakes per year, with more large quakes than the other 49 states combined.
Southern Alaska has a high risk of earthquakes due to tectonic plates sliding past each other under the region. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Pacific plate is sliding northwestward and plunges beneath the North American plate in southern Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands.
On March 27, 1964, Alaska was hit by a magnitude 9.2 earthquake, the strongest recorded in U.S. history, centered about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Anchorage. The quake, which lasted about 4½ minutes, and the tsunami it triggered claimed about 130 lives.
Anchorage lawyer Justin Capp says he was getting ready for work when he felt the shaking start.
He grabbed on to the doorframe in the hallway and the door slammed into his hands, scraping his fingers and hand.
Capp says he’s lived in Anchorage eight years and that Tuesday’s quake was the worst he had experienced.
Another lawyer, Hank Graper, was driving when the quake struck. He first thought his vehicle had a flat tire, then thought it was exploding. He realized it was an earthquake after he saw traffic poles swaying.
Graper called it the most “violent” earthquake he’s experience in his 20 years in Anchorage.
The U.S. Geological Survey initially said it was a 6.7 magnitude earthquake and later boosted the magnitude to 7.0
The National Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning for coastal zones of southern Alaska following an earthquake that rocked buildings in downtown Anchorage.
The center said Friday that the warning was in effect for parts of the state’s Cook Inlet and the southern Kenai peninsula.
The warning means tsunami waves are expected.
The U.S. Geological Survey initially said it was a 6.7 magnitude earthquake and then reduced that to 6.6.
The quake was centered about 7 miles (12 kilometers) north of Alaska’s largest city.
A 6.6 magnitude earthquake has rocked buildings in Anchorage and caused lamp posts and trees to sway, prompting people to run out of offices and seek shelter under office desks.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake Friday morning was centered about 7 miles (12 kilometers) north of Alaska’s largest city.
An Associated Press reporter working in downtown Anchorage saw cracks in a 2-story building after the quake. It was unclear whether there were injuries.