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Massive Earthquake Rocks Alaska, Governor Issues Disaster Declaration

Updated: November 30, 2018 02:57 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A 7.0 magnitude earthquake has rocked buildings in Anchorage and caused lamp posts and trees to sway, prompting people to run out of offices and seek shelter under office desks.
    
The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake Friday morning was centered about 7 miles (12 kilometers) north of Alaska's largest city.

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The White House says President Donald Trump has been briefed about the earthquake.
    
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted Tuesday that Trump is monitoring the reports of damage. Trump is in Argentina at the Group of 20 summit.
    
Huckabee adds: "We are praying for the safety of all Alaskans."
    
There have been no immediate reports of serious injuries or deaths following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake. A tsunami warning that had been issued for the island community of Kodiak has been canceled.
    
An Associated Press reporter working in downtown Anchorage saw cracks in a 2-story building after the quake. It was unclear whether there were injuries.
    
People went back inside buildings after the earthquake but a smaller aftershock a short time later sent them running back into the streets again.

The earthquake damaged roadways and knocked many traffic lights out of service and snarling traffic.
    
Jeremy Zidek, a spokesman for the state's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said the earthquake also disrupted some communications and electrical service.
    
The Anchorage School District cancelled classes for its more than 100 schools and asked parents to pick up their kids when they could.
    
The district wants to examine its buildings for potential damage and check for any potential gas leaks.
    
State government offices in Anchorage were also closed so officials could assess damage.

The Federal Aviation Administration says operations at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport have stopped.
    
FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer in Washington state said Friday it's not known when inbound flights will resume and that travelers should check with their airlines.
    
Kenitzer and Alaska transportation spokeswoman Meadow Bailey say telephone service is out at the airport.
    
The FAA spokesman says the airport tower was evacuated and flights that could be diverted were being sent to Kodiak.
    
He says inbound international flights to Anchorage were being guided by controllers at a regional radar approach facility.
    
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker tweeted that he has issued a disaster declaration.
 

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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