BREAKING: Massive earthquake shakes Alaska, damage in Anchorage –

BREAKING: Massive earthquake shakes Alaska, damage in Anchorage –

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – Alaskans felt a large earthquake that shook South Central at around 8:30 a.m. this morning.

According to officials with the USGS, the earthquake initially was a 6.6 magnitude but later adjusted the magnitude to a 7.0, and was centered north of Anchorage. The National Weather Service said it was a 7.0 magnitude quake as well.

Several aftershocks of diminishing strength, but still significant, were felt.

Directly following the massive quake, an emergency alert was issued for a tsunami warning, saying that there was danger on the coast for a tsunami, and instructing people to go to high ground.

Several reports of damage have been made around Anchorage and the surrounding area, including possible damage to highways and roads.

Department of Transportation officials told Channel 2 a possible landslide occurred on the Seward Highway by McHugh Creek.

Shannon McCarthy with DOT said all available employees who can do inspections are being called in to perform checks. A short list of the damage includes a slide on the Seward Highway, damage to the Northbound Eagle River Bridge, the Minnesota International Airport Road off ramp, and damage News Seward and 36th Avenue.

The Anchorage School District said it is still accessing earthquake damages. “When you feel it is safe to pick up your children at your school, please do so,” an emailed statement read.

ASD said Begich Middle School students are moving to East High School and parents should pick their children up at East High School.

Kirstin Olmstead with UAA said the Anchorage campus and Chugiak-Eagle River campuses are closed. They said all non-essential personnel should go home. “Please do not come to campus,” UAA said in an email.

Right now, multiple parts of down are showing their power being down according to Chugach Electric. A map for that outage, and if power is restored in your area, can be found online here.

ML&P said it is operational after the earthquake, assessing damages and responding to power outages as a result of the quake. The company warned people to watch out for downed power lines.

The Anchorage Police Department said it is is operational after the earthquake, asking the public to call 911 only for emergencies.

“Our officers have been dispatched throughout the area and are handling multiple situations. We are working with our public safety partners to keep you safe. For parents, we are working with our partners at the Anchorage School District to check on your children and make sure they are safe,” APD said in a statement.

“There is major infrastructure damage across Anchorage. Many homes and buildings are damaged. Many roads and bridges are closed. Stay off the roads if you don’t need to drive. Seek a safe shelter. Check on your surroundings and loved ones,” APD stated.

Several spots along the Seward Highway between Bird Creek and Potter Marsh are hazardous to drive after this morning’s earthquake, with several spots where rocks and boulders came tumbling down during the first quake and the aftershocks.

A DOT truck was seen this morning around mile marker 104 scrapping the rock debris off the road. One Bird resident, trying to make his way into Anchorage, said he had to turn around because the roadway wasn’t safe.

This is a developing story and will be updated as soon as possible.

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