Magnitude Quake Strikes Just North of Anchorage, Alaska

A map locating Anchorage Alaska

A map locating Anchorage Alaska

On Friday, a pair of large earthquakes struck near Anchorage, Alaska, swaying buildings, buckling roads and sending terrified residents fleeing from buildings.

The National Weather Service also issued a tsunami warning soon after the 7.2 quake, but it was pulled back a few hours later.

Infrastructure in and around Anchorage took a major hit, police said on Twitter, with some homes and other buildings heavily damaged and many roads and bridges forced closed. It also triggered a tsunami warning, which was later canceled. It started fires and collapsed the ceiling of a local news TV station.

Cracks could be seen in a two-story downtown Anchorage building.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially said it was a 6.7 magnitude quake and later boosted the magnitude to 7.0.

President Donald Trump declared a federal emergency, ordering USA government assistance in the quake response and authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, the White House said.

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An aftershock happened a short time later.

He said the quake created a powerful back-and-forth sloshing in the bathtub and before he knew it, he'd been thrown out of the tub by the force of the waves.

Alaska averages 40,000 earthquakes per year, with more large quakes than the 49 other states combined.

Another lawyer, Hank Graper, was driving when the quake struck. That quake lasted about four and a half minutes and was the most powerful natural disaster recorded in USA history, destroying a major part of downtown Anchorage and causing a tsunami that ravaged towns on the Gulf of Alaska and beyond, including fatalities as far south as California. West said damage reports across the region were beginning to arrive at the Alaska Earthquake Information Center. You have been hit hard by a 'big one.' Please follow the directions of the highly trained professionals who are there to help you.

2 p.m.: This article was updated with details about road damage. A damaged off ramp near Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport drew a string of spectators.

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