Alaska gover­nor de­clares dis­as­ter af­ter 7.0 quake

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Wood­yard

A mag­ni­tude 7.0 earth­quake struck Fri­day morn­ing near An­chor­age, Alaska, caus­ing wide­spread dam­age and alarm­ing of­fice work­ers who plunged un­der their desks.

Light fix­tures fell, glass shat­tered, road­ways col­lapsed and su­per­mar­ket aisles were lit­tered with fallen boxes, cans and jars. Video im­ages showed some road­ways had col­lapsed. One man tweeted a photo of his top­pled chim­ney and a lo­cal tele­vi­sion sta­tion showed its stu­dio filled with de­bris.

For­mer Alaska gover­nor and vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Sarah Palin tweeted, say­ing her fam­ily is in­tact but her “house is not.”

“This is a large earth­quake, and there have been nu­mer­ous af­ter­shocks,” said John Bellini, a geo­physi­cist for the U.S. Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey. He said the largest af­ter­shock was a 5.7 mag­ni­tude quake about six min­utes af­ter the big one.

The quake struck at 8:29 a.m. lo­cal time about 7 miles north of An­chor­age, the USGS re­ported. Of­fi­cials can­celed a tsunami warn­ing for coastal ar­eas of south­ern Alaska. Gov. Bill Walker said he had is­sued a dis­as­ter dec­la­ra­tion.

Be­sides wide­spread dam­age, the earth­quake dis­rupted some com­mu­ni­ca­tions and elec­tri­cal ser­vice, the state’s Divi­sion of Home­land Se­cu­rity and Emer­gency Man­age­ment said.

Ted Stevens An­chor­age In­ter­na­tional Air­port closed for dam­age as­sess­ment, but was grad­u­ally be­ing re­opened. As a pre­cau­tion, the trans-Alaska oil pipe­line, which runs 800 miles, was shut.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who was briefed on the earth­quake, tweeted that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment would “spare no ex­pense” in help­ing Alaska through the quake’s aftermath.


Books and ceil­ing tiles lit­ter the floor of The Mat-Su Col­lege li­brary in An­chor­age, Alaska, on Fri­day.

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