“It Was Anarchy” As Mag 7 Quake Rocks Anchorage; Alaska Gov Issues Disaster Declaration

“It Was Anarchy” As Mag 7 Quake Rocks Anchorage; Alaska Gov Issues Disaster Declaration

Update: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Trump has been briefed on the earthquake. Meanwhile, USGS has lifted the tsunami warning.

Alaska Governor Bill Walker has issued a disaster declaration and said he is in contact with the White House.

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A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Anchorage, Alaska Friday morning, prompting people living in the city to run out of their offices and hide under their desks until the tremor had passed. The US Geological Survey said the earthquake’s epicenter was located roughly 7 miles (12 kilometers) north of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, according to the Associated Press.


A reporter in Anchorage witnessed cracks in a 2-storey building after the quake, which was followed by smaller aftershocks, including a magnitude 5.3 and magnitude 5.7 – which sent people running for cover again. Residents were warned that more could follow throughout the day.

One witness offered a harrowing description of the quake to the AP:

“It was anarchy,” he said. “There’s no pictures left on the walls, there’s no power, there’s no fish tank left. Everything that’s not tied down is broke.”

David Harper told the AP that he was getting coffee at a store when the rumbling began and intensified into something that sounded “like the building was just going to fall apart,” sending him sprinting for the exit.

“The main thought that was going through my head as I was trying to get out the door was, ‘I want this to stop,'” he said. Harper said the quake was “significant enough that the people who were outside were actively hugging each other. You could tell that it was a bad one.”

Some context: Alaska averages 40,000 earthquakes per year, with more large quakes than the 49 other states combined. The southern part of the state is particularly vulnerable due to shifting tectonic plates. The strongest quake to ever strike the state


(Courtesy of NBC News)

Alyeska Pipeline Service said it is checking on its Alaska pipeline after the quake. A company spokeswoman said the company currently isn’t aware of any problems, according to Bloomberg. The pipeline has been shut down as a precaution.

USGS issued a tsunami warning shortly after the quake, warning people to evacuate coastal areas of the Cook Inlet and Southern Kenai Peninsula.


Alaska’s Anchorage airport said some flights were still arriving but advised that others might be canceled.

The Anchorage School District posted a message to parents on via its official Twitter account.

One local news station posted a photo of the quake’s aftermath.

One Twitter user offered a glimpse into what houses across Anchorage must look like right now:

Harrowing videos showing students taking shelter under their desks and other terrifying scenes quickly surfaced on social media. Another showed the damage that occurred on the sixth floor of the Anchorage courthouse:

Meanwhile, the number of people injured in the quake has yet to be reported.

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