A large earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 struck Alaska near Anchorage early Friday morning, damaging roads and buildings, knocking out power and sending people fleeing from buildings and to safety beneath door jambs.
The epicenter was just north of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center.
There were several reports of serious damage. An onramp at interchange of International Airport Road and Minnesota Boulevard collapsed. The Seward Highway south of Anchorage was closed by a rockslide.
There were reports of power and phone outages in the region. Traffic was backed up throughout Anchorage as people headed home to check on damage, and some traffic lights had gone dark.
The earthquake shook buildings violently. At Anchorage Daily News in Midtown, it sent cracks up walls, damaged ceiling panels and flung items off desks and walls, including a computer monitor and a fire extinguisher
Chugach Electric Association, providing service in much of Anchorage, said on a Facebook post it has “power outages throughout” its system.
“Please do not approach any downed power lines or other equipment and facilities,” the utility said.
“We are doing assessment and inspection right now. We need to inspect our equipment for damage before we can re-energize,” it said. “The power outage map on our website is currently not accurate. We will continue to update throughout the day.”
Anchorage Municipal Light and Power, providing service in midtown and north Anchorage, said on Facebook it is “assessing any damages or power outages as a result of the earthquake.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.