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Magnitude 7 earthquake shakes Anchorage

Magnitude 7 earthquake shakes Anchorage

Tsunami warning canceled
Magnitude 7 earthquake shakes Anchorage
Downtown Anchorage in 2015.
Photographer: Shutterstock

A magnitude 7 earthquake struck about 8 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, causing damage to buildings and roads and briefly stoking fears of a tsunami throughout the region.

On Twitter, panicked residents of Anchorage and the surrounding area shared photos and video of evacuations, swaying buildings and damage caused by the earthquake. The National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning for parts of southern Alaska, which was later canceled.

In the hours after the first earthquake, at least nine more quakes of magnitude 3 or higher had struck Anchorage and the surrounding area, according to the National Weather Service.

Reporters and editors at KTVA, a local CBS affiliate, shared photos and video showing damage to the station’s building. In a live broadcast, station employees described and showcased the damage to their studio, including flooding, and broken desks and equipment.

“It went from hanging out to ceiling tiles falling within seconds,” Jeremy LaGoo, the station’s meteorologist, said.

Gov. Bill Walker said on Twitter that he had issued a declaration of disaster and was in touch with the White House.

“We are closely monitoring reports of aftershocks and assessing damage to roads, bridges and buildings,” he said. “My family is praying for yours. God bless Alaska.”

Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said that President Donald Trump had been briefed about the earthquake and was monitoring reports for damage.

Municipal Light and Power, which serves about 30,000 customers, warned people to watch for downed power lines, though none had yet been reported as of about 10 a.m. local time. Matanuska Electric Association, another utility, said about 17,000 of its customers were without power.

The temperature in Anchorage was in the upper 20s, with a 40 percent chance of snow after noon, according to a National Weather Service forecast.

According to the USGS, earthquakes are common in the area, with 14 tremors of similar or worse magnitude occurring within about 100 miles of Anchorage in the last century.

A pair of earthquakes with magnitudes of 6.6 and 6.4 struck at a similarly shallow depth in July and September of 1983, causing damage around Valdez. In March 1964, a magnitude 9.2 earthquake struck Alaska, causing widespread damage and killing dozens.

It was not immediately clear whether anyone was killed or injured in Friday’s earthquake.

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