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Earthquake cracks open a road in Anchorage, Alaska
Image: Reuters/N. Wilder

Powerful earthquake rattles southern Alaska

November 30, 2018

The city of Anchorage in the US state of Alaska sustained significant damage following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The quake prompted fears of a tsunami, but the warning has now been called off.


A powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake cracked buildings and buckled roads in Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday, causing people to flee from their homes and offices while windows shattered and shelves toppled over.

A tsunami warning was initially issued for the coastal areas of southern Alaska, but the warning was later canceled by the US Tsunami Warning System.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) also logged several strong aftershocks in the area, as is common after any larger quake, with one of the larger aftershocks coming in at a 5.8 magnitude.

The USGS said the epicenter of the quake appeared to be located 7 miles (13 kilometers) north of Anchorage.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths. The Anchorage police department said in a statement that the earthquake caused "major infrastructure damage" across the city. Thousands were left without electricity. 

Major damage to roads

Anchorage residents posted pictures on social media of massively cracked roads and damaged buildings following the earthquake.

Journalist Cassie Schirm with TV station KTVA posted a picture on Twitter showing the damage to the station's newsroom.

Another Twitter user shared a video showing a severely damaged section of a highway with a car marooned in the middle of the cracked road.

Sarah Palin, a former Alaska governor and former Republican US vice presidential candidate, wrote on Twitter that her house had sustained damage in the quake. "So thankful to be safe; praying for our state following the earthquake," she wrote.

Alaska is no stranger to earthquakes. The state experiences around 40,000 earthquakes a year, with more large quakes than all the other 49 US states combined, according to The Associated Press.

In March 1964, Alaska was hit by a 9.2 magnitude earthquake that lasted over four minutes — the strongest recorded in US history. That quake triggered a tsunami that claimed around 130 lives.

rs/msh (AP, dpa)

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