7.0-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Anchorage, Alaska; Tsunami Warning Rescinded, Major Damage Reported

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 has struck near Anchorage, Alaska, causing widespread damage, triggering rock slides and alarming office workers who plunged under their desks.

Officials have since canceled a tsunami warning for coastal areas of southern Alaska.

Residents are reporting damage in the nearby areas via social media. 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 seismologist 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 seven miles north of Anchorage, the USGS reported. Injuries weren’t immediately reported.

“The bed started shaking and everything was shaking so dramatically,” Blair Braverman told CNN about the earthquake. “People were running down the halls and banging on the doors to evacuate.”

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

Anchorage has been hit hard before. A 1964 earthquake caused extensive damage to the city.

SOURCE: Chris Woodyard