ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - A powerful earthquake hit Anchorage, Alaska, Friday buckling roads and damaging buildings, but there were no reports of serious injuries.
The 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck about 13 kilometers north of Anchorage, home to about 40 percent of Alaska’s population, and was followed by several strong aftershocks felt 560 kilometers away in Fairbanks.
The quakes rocked buildings, shattered windows, and caused lampposts and trees to sway.
Residents of Anchorage posted pictures to social media showing damage to their homes and businesses. Power was also knocked out for many residents.
Authorities say the quake hit roads and bridges hardest, but otherwise largely spared the city from major structural damage. Police say they had a couple of reports of building collapses.
President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for Alaska and tweeted that the federal government “will spare no expense” helping the state recover from the earthquake.
The initial tremor prompted people to run into the streets or take cover in their homes or offices.
The University of Alaska closed for the day and the Anchorage School District canceled classes for its more than 100 schools.
The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport temporarily stopped all incoming and outgoing flights after the air control tower was evacuated. It is operating at a reduced capacity.
The Alaska Railroad said it had suspended all operations following “severe” damage at its operations center in Anchorage and unknown track conditions throughout the state.
The quake, which struck at 8:29 a.m. local time Friday, triggered a tsunami warning for coastal areas of southern Alaska, but that was later canceled.
Strong earthquakes are not uncommon in Alaska but tend to happen in more remote regions of the state. Alaska was the site of the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the United States, a 9.2-magnitude tremor in 1964. That quake triggered a tsunami that claimed about 130 lives.