ANCHORAGE, AK — A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck north of Anchorage on Friday, according to the United States Geological Survey. The temblor has caused major infrastructure damage in Anchorage, disrupted flight travel and has left thousands without power.
Following the earthquake, a tsunami warning was issued for part of the Alaska coast but the warning has since been lifted. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president has been briefed on the earthquake and is monitoring damage reports.
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has issued a disaster declaration. Walker said authorities are monitoring reports of aftershocks and assessing damage from a command center established at Joint Base Elmendorf and Richardson.
The quake was reported around 8:30 a.m. local time. The quake shook structures in Anchorage and photos and videos posted to social media show the reported damage. Photos showed huge cracks in roads and items inside buildings that had fallen to the ground.
Municipal Light & Power said power should be restored to most customers by the end of the day. The utility said there will be isolated pockets that will still be out due to damage on the ground.
ML&P advised residents to charge their phones and keep an outage kit handy even if their power has been restored.
Matanuska Electric reported that just over 32,000 of its customers were without power.
There is major infrastructure damage across Anchorage, including damaged homes and buildings, according to police. Several roads and bridges are closed and police say residents should stay off roads if they don’t need to drive. Police said some parts of the Glenn Highway have sunken in and completely disappeared.
Police said there are significant traffic disruptions and road closures. The Seward and Glenn Highways are open. Police say there are major detours in certain areas due to damage. (You can see a full list of road closures and other important updates via the Alaska DOT & PF website and via Anchorage Police here.)
The Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, which was serving as a shelter, lost access to utilities. Officials are now telling people seeking shelter to go to William A. Egan Civic and Convention Center.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities said there was a report of a rock slide by McHugh Creek.
Anchorage Police said its dispatch center is fully staffed and answering calls. The agency said to only call 911 if its an emergency. Police requested that residents text and use social media to communicate with their family and friends so as not to overwhelm phone lines. A precautionary boil water advisory is in place from Anchorage Water Waste and Utility.
A number of aftershocks have been reported following the 7.0 temblor, with the largest one registering a magnitude of 5.1, according to the Alaska Earhtquake Center.
This report will be updated.
Photo : A car is trapped on a collapsed section of the offramp in Anchorage, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. Back-to-back earthquakes measuring 7.0 and 5.8 rocked buildings and buckled roads Friday morning in Anchorage, prompting people to run from their offices or seek shelter under office desks, while a tsunami warning had some seeking higher ground. (AP Photo)
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