Update II: In a tweet, President Trump said the federal government would "spare no expense" to help the people of Alaska.
To the Great people of Alaska. You have been hit hard by a “big one.” Please follow the directions of the highly trained professionals who are there to help you. Your Federal Government will spare no expense. God Bless you ALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2018
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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.
(1/2) After a major earthquake, I have issued a declaration of disaster & I have been in direct contact with the White House. Major General Laurie Hummel & I are now working w emergency responders to make sure Alaskans are safe.— Governor Bill Walker (@AkGovBillWalker) November 30, 2018
(2/2) From the incident command center established at Joint Base Elmendorf and Richardson we are closely monitoring reports of aftershocks and assessing damage to roads, bridges and buildings.— Governor Bill Walker (@AkGovBillWalker) November 30, 2018
My family is praying for yours. God bless Alaska.
So far, there have been five significant aftershocks, and more are expected throughout the day.
This morning at about 0930 hrs., a M7.0 ten miles from Anchorage, Alaska with major aftershocks, five so far, approximately at depth of 10-20 miles down today 11/30/2018 https://t.co/HoqmGA2lBx— Bob Martin (@chaplainmartin1) November 30, 2018
Alaska Air has temporarily suspended operations at its Anchorage Airport.
Due to a significant earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska, we are temporarily suspending operations at the airport until at least 12:30pm Pacific.— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) November 30, 2018
We will keep you updated here as well as on the Alaska Airlines Blog. https://t.co/m7heW6QgsU
While Alaskans are no stranger to Earthquakes (as we mentioned below, they suffer more than the other 49 states combined), it's becoming increasingly clear that this one was different.
Growing up in Alaska, we were pretty used to earthquakes. Most lucky to make a blip on the news. This was different. From a friend: pic.twitter.com/TBdiQK6JIX— Tyson Alger (@tysonalger) November 30, 2018
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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.
Currently some flights are arriving. Check with your airline for the most up to date information.— Anchorage Airport (@TSAIAirport) November 30, 2018
Reports of road damage have been confirmed, including International Airport Road. Use EXTREME Caution if you are driving.— Anchorage Airport (@TSAIAirport) November 30, 2018
The arrivals ramp and the departure ramp is closed. The commercial curb is available. Follow traffic control signage and barricades.— Anchorage Airport (@TSAIAirport) November 30, 2018
The airport terminal is open. Flights are arriving and departing. Check with your airline for accurate information.— Anchorage Airport (@TSAIAirport) November 30, 2018
The Anchorage School District posted a message to parents on via its official Twitter account.
We hope that everyone is safe after the earthquake. We are assessing building safety and damages now. We will update the community as new information comes in. In the meantime, parents and guardians, when you feel it is safe to do so, please pick your children up from school.— ASD Information (@ASD_Info) November 30, 2018
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:
There was just a MONSTER earthquake in Anchorage. I was getting coffee in a store at the time. Here's the shelves. pic.twitter.com/SqERuX7FRH— David Harper (@slicedfriedgold) November 30, 2018
Major earthquake in Anchorage this morning. @uaanchorage is closed. We have some damage. Currently assessing. No word of injuries, thankfully. Power still OK. This is one of our conference rooms. Kudos to our Incident Management Team for quick response. We are fortunate. pic.twitter.com/ZffVAwuIbY— Cathy Sandeen (@CathySandeen) November 30, 2018
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:
7.2 earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska.— Deplorable NPC 🇺🇸 (@1776PatHenry) November 30, 2018
This is what happened on the 6th floor of the Nesbett Courthouse during the Anchorage #earthquake. Both attorneys jumped under their desks. Evacuated the building after the shaking stopped. pic.twitter.com/dqHGPCv6XO— Heather Hintze (@HeatherHintze) November 30, 2018
MORE: Newsroom of CBS affiliate @ktva in Anchorage, Alaska suffers significant damage in 7.0-magnitude earthquake; after being knocked off air, local reporters deliver updates via Facebook Live https://t.co/j8ZFCM8v8j pic.twitter.com/0jynmCjRzD— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) November 30, 2018
Meanwhile, the number of people injured in the quake has yet to be reported.