Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Alaska quake damage could have been much worse

Alaska quake damage could have been much worse

A magnitude 7.0 quake shook Anchorage, Alaska and the surrounding area on Friday morning.

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The state late Saturday identified 47 earthquake-damaged roads and bridges, most of which can not be fully repaired until the region's dark and snowy winter has passed.

A strong aftershock, measuring magnitude-5.7 shook the earth soon after and a tsunami warning was briefly issued for some areas.

US President Donald Trump has approved the state of emergency for Alaska and ordered federal state aid.

A 6.6 magnitude natural disaster 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 supply chain of food and other goods delivered to the Port of Anchorage from the Lower 48 has not been disrupted by the powerful natural disaster that caused widespread damage to roads in the Anchorage area. Many homes and buildings damaged streets and bridges are closed.

Classes were suspended at the University of Alaska at Anchorage (UAA) and at all schools in the district, some of whose students were evacuated and secured.

She said some roads in the Anchorage area, including some leading to the airport, are impassible, and drivers should follow detour signs to drop off and pick up passengers at taxi and shuttle bus queues.

Sterling Strait, a member of the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission, said the states use the International Building Code, considered the best available standard for seismic safety. Delays came as drivers were diverted around road damage on temporary detours or the highway was reduced to one lane while crews try to reconstruct the roadway after the temblor caused sinkholes and buckled pavement. The epicenter was 7 miles north of Anchorage, and shallow at 27 miles deep. The airport also confirmed that roads to the airport have been damaged.

The largest quake in United States history occurred in Anchorage in 1964.

The reason Alaska sees so many earthquakes is because the 49th state sits over a major fault line between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates.

Alaska has been hit by a number of powerful quakes over 7.0 in recent decades, including a 7.9 last January southeast of Kodiak Island.

This photo provided by David Harper shows merchandise that fell off the shelves during the quake.

He says it requires buildings to be created to resist possible ground motion determined by location and quake histories. It and the tsunami it triggered claimed about 130 lives.

The quake was "significant enough that the people who were outside were actively hugging each other, You could tell that it was a bad one".

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