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7.0 Earthquake Shakes Alaska; Major Damage Seen In Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CBS SF/AP) – A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Alaska near the state's largest city of Anchorage Friday morning, causing damage to buildings and infrastructure in the region.

The quake prompted a tsunami warning for parts of the state which was lifted shortly after 10 a.m. local time (11 a.m. Pacific Time).

Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll says he is unaware of reports of deaths or serious injuries following the earthquake that rocked the state's largest city.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake struck shortly before 8:30 a.m. local time (9:30 a.m. Pacific Time).

Alaska Earthquake Map
Map of magnitude 6.7 earthquake that struck Alaska on November 30, 2018. (USGS)

Officials said there was no threat of a tsunami along Washington, Oregon and California coastlines.

While there was damage from Friday's quake it doesn't compare to similar quakes in highly populated areas. The 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989 left 63 dead with another 3,757 injured and caused billions of dollars in damages.

FLASHBACK: Click for a look back at the Killer 1964 9.2 Anchorage Quake that triggered tsunami damage to the Northern California Coast





Reports of damage in the Anchorage area began streaming in shortly after the initial jolt. The quake rocked the newsroom of KTVA -- the CBS affiliate -- leaving monitors on the floor and desks in disarray.

Anchorage lawyer Justin Capp says he was getting ready for work when he felt the shaking start.

He grabbed on to the doorframe in the hallway and the door slammed into his hands, scraping his fingers and hand.

Capp says he's lived in Anchorage eight years and that Tuesday's quake was the worst he had experienced.

Another lawyer, Hank Graper, was driving when the quake struck. He first thought his vehicle had a flat tire, then thought it was exploding. He realized it was an earthquake after he saw traffic poles swaying.

Graper called it the most "violent" earthquake he's experience in his 20 years in Anchorage.

Social media postings showed a highway destroyed and children ducking for cover in a classroom.

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

Southern Alaska has a high risk of earthquakes due to tectonic plates sliding past each other under the region. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Pacific plate is sliding northwestward and plunges beneath the North American plate in southern Alaska, the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands.

On March 27, 1964, Alaska was hit by a magnitude 9.2 earthquake, the strongest recorded in U.S. history, centered about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Anchorage. The quake, which lasted about 4½ minutes, and the tsunami it triggered claimed about 130 lives, including 12 people in Crescent City in far Northern California.


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