Large earthquake, aftershocks, strike Southcentral Alaska, damage reported around region


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 hope of safety beneath door jambs.

The epicenter was just north of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. It violently shook the most populous region of the state at about 8:30 a.m., just as people were settling in to work and school.

There were no immediate reports of major injuries but it appeared parts of the region had suffered serious structural damage.

The city of Anchorage declared a civil disaster declaration to access state resources, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz told reporters Friday. He urged residents to remain calm in the aftermath of the quake.

There were several aftershocks, including a sharp jolt felt widely in Anchorage around 10:26 a.m. and another series of aftershocks just before 11 a.m. At least three of them were 5.0.

The earthquake shook buildings violently, cracking walls, leaving some store floors a mess, and leaving desks covered with dust from ceiling tiles.

The tsunami warning for Southcentral Alaska including Kenai, Kodiak and the shores of Cook Inlet was canceled around 10 a.m.

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