Powerful quake rattles Anchorage; roads and bridges hardest hit
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – An impressive earthquake shook southern Alaska on Friday morning, buckling roads, disrupting site visitors and jamming phone strains in and round Anchorage, the state’s biggest town, however there have been no studies of accidents.
The 7.zero magnitude quake struck about eight miles (13 km) north of Anchorage, a town of 300,000 citizens accounting for approximately 40 p.c of Alaska’s inhabitants, and was once adopted by way of dozens of aftershocks.
Roads and bridges perceived to were hardest hit, however Anchorage was once in a different way in large part spared from primary structural harm, government mentioned. Power outages and disruption of telephone carrier was once in style.
“We did have a couple of reports of buildings collapses,” Fire Chief Jodie Hettrick instructed journalists about 3 hours after the quake, including that 3 construction fires additionally have been reported, despite the fact that main points weren’t right away to be had.
“The fact that we went through something this significant with this minimal amount of damage says that we’re a very well prepared community, that our building codes and our building professionals have done a terrific job,” Mayor Ethan Berkowitz mentioned.
The preliminary quake produced sturdy shaking inside a 30-mile (50 km) radius of its epicenter, with flooring motion felt as a long way away as Fairbanks, 250 miles to the north because the crow flies, and Kodiak, kind of the similar distance to the south, consistent with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
“Thought the house was going to come apart,” Anchorage-based climatologist Brian Brettschneider wrote on Twitter, posting a photograph appearing his kitchen ground scattered with pieces that tumbled out of cabinets.
A tsunami caution was once issued for Cook Inlet, linking Anchorage with the Gulf of Alaska, however was once later canceled.
The Trans Alaska Pipeline, which carries crude oil 800 miles (1,300 km) from Alaska’s North Slope to the marine terminal at Valdez, was once close down for approximately seven hours as a precaution, however no harm to the gadget was once detected, mentioned a spokeswoman for the operator, Aleyska Pipeline Service Co.
The quake happened just about 27 miles (43 km) underneath the outside, it sounds as if on an unnamed fault line, or fissure, inside of a portion of the Earth’s crust referred to as Pacific plate the place it bends beneath the North American plate, USGS geophysicist Brian Kilgore instructed Reuters.
“This is kind of an odd quake,” he mentioned, including that handiest 15 or 16 quakes of magnitude 6 or better were recorded throughout the previous century in the similar area of Alaska.
Morning rush-hour site visitors in Anchorage got here to a standstill and jammed up heading out of the city after the quake struck at round eight:30 a.m. (1230 EST/1730 GMT).
Governor Bill Walker issued a crisis declaration, calling it a “scary day for Alaska.”
“We have been through earthquakes in the past. This one was different. This was very, very scary, damage that we don’t fully understand,” Walker mentioned in a video remark from out of doors a National Guard armory command heart.
President Donald Trump declared a federal emergency, ordering U.S. executive help within the earthquake reaction and authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all crisis reduction efforts, the White House mentioned.
Strong earthquakes aren’t unusual in seismically lively Alaska however have a tendency to happen in faraway, in moderation populated areas.
Alaska has recorded earthquakes with magnitudes starting from 7 to eight once or more a yr on reasonable since 1900, consistent with the state executive web page. Southern Alaska was once hit by way of a devastating nine.2 tremor in 1964, the second one maximum robust earthquake on file.
Images posted on social media confirmed grocery store flooring strewn with spilled pieces.
A photograph posted by way of a reporter at tv station KTVA confirmed a abandoned newsroom, with scattered particles and a in part collapsed ceiling. CNN reported that TV station KTUU, an NBC associate, additionally was once knocked off the air.
KTUU’s web page featured a photograph of a snow-covered freeway that had buckled, with a automobile sitting between two deep fissures crossing the freeway.
The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport remained open, however arrivals and departure ramps have been closed and there have been studies of street harm, the airport mentioned on Twitter.
The town’s faculties have been evacuated and oldsters have been notified to select up their kids.
Reporting by way of Yereth Rosen in Anchorage; Additional reporting by way of Gabriella Borter in New York and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Writing by way of Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by way of Bill Tarrant and Leslie Adler