As soon as the ground started shaking, journalists and residents in the Anchorage, Alaska area grabbed their phones and started sharing shocking photos and videos of Friday'sand the damage left in its wake.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake struck at 8:29 a.m. local time (12:29 p.m. EST) and was centered about 7 miles north of Alaska's largest city. A 5.8 magnitude aftershock hit about six minutes later.
Heather Hintze, a reporter/photographer for CBS affiliate KTVA-TV, was on the 6th floor of the Nesbett Courthouse when the earthquake hit. For more than a minute, she captured the event for Twitter as terrified people got under their desks and debris fell from the ceiling.
Gasps of "oh my god" and "it's OK" and heavy breathing can be heard as the shaking goes on for what must have seemed like an eternity.
After the shaking stopped, Hintze moved to the first floor as the courthouse was being evacuated. That's when a major aftershock struck, setting off all of the metal detectors.
KTVA 11's Daybreak streamed live video on Facebook for at least three hours, giving viewers a unique and compelling behind-the-scenes "you are there" perspective of the station's coverage.
Residents also reported on the quake and the damage around them. Twitter user @sarahh_mars shared her dad's video of a driver who appeared to be stranded after an exit ramp buckled.
In another video, students are seen hiding under tables as the earth shook in Alyson Petrie's art classroom in nearby Palmer. "Everything is literally destroyed," she wrote in a Twitter post.
@Chase_AK recorded the damage when the ceiling fell and shelves collapsed in a grocery store.
David Harper posted a picture from inside a grocery store after what he called the "MONSTER earthquake."
And one of Alaska's most famous residents, former governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin tweeted, saying her family is intact but "house is not."
Palin also posted video on Facebook showing the damage at her parents' house, where piles of dishes lay smashed on the kitchen floor. "The video doesn't begin to show the scope," she wrote.
The quake briefly triggered a tsunami warning to residents in Kodiak to flee to higher ground. The warning was lifted a short time later.