'Monster' earthquake shakes Anchorage, Alaska; Widespread damage reported

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'Monster' earthquake shakes Anchorage, Alaska; Widespread damage reported
Around 8:30 a.m. AKST, a massive earthquake shook the city of Anchorage, Alaska. The National Weather Service initially issued a tsunami warning for nearby coastal waters, but at 10:00 a.m. AKST, the warning was canceled.

Gov. Bill Walker has issued a disaster declaration in Alaska in response to Friday’s earthquake, which was approved by President Donald Trump.

The Anchorage School District has canceled classes and its buildings will be examined for potential damage and gas leaks, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Anchorage Municipal Manager Bill Falsey said that over two dozen mainline water breaks have occurred in the city, leaving some residences flooded, according to the AP.

Evacuations have taken place throughout the city as stores, buildings and homes have been impacted. Employees working in the air traffic tower at the Anchorage Airport were also evacuated, as the tower is inspected for damage.

Pictures shared on Twitter show widespread power outages already impacting areas. 

For families and individuals impacted by the power outages and destruction, the weather and temperatures in the coming days will be manageable.

“The good news is that bitter cold is not expected,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist David Samuhel said. “Temperatures will actually be a little above normal for at least the next six to 10 days.”

However, for the crews handling repairs and cleaning up the destruction left behind by the earthquake, smaller storm systems in the coming days may cause issues.

“While only light rain and snow is expected over the weekend, there will be strong winds,” Samuhel said. “The Turnagain Arm, which is just southeast of Anchorage, could see winds of 50-60 miles per hour. Winds in Anchorage could reach 40 miles per hour. A more significant storm could bring a few inches of snow Sunday night into Monday morning.”

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski added that the limited sunlight will also hamper recovery efforts.

“The biggest obstacle is short daylight,” Sosnowski said. “Crews will have to be using spotlights due to the limited daylight.”

Road and bridge damage has also been reported in and around the city.

The United States Geological Survey also released an aftershock forecast, warning Anchorage residents to be prepared for aftershocks and ensuing damage. “According to our forecast, over the next 1 Week there is a 4 % chance of one or more aftershocks that are larger than magnitude 7.0. It is likely that there will be smaller earthquakes over the next 1 Week, with 20 to 2,200 magnitude 3 or higher aftershocks. Magnitude 3 and above are large enough to be felt near the epicenter. The number of aftershocks will drop off over time, but a large aftershock can increase the numbers again, temporarily.”

Within the first 12 hours following the major earthquake, the USGS reported over 100 aftershocks in the area measuring at least 2.5 on the Richter scale.

The Anchorage Police Department is operational in the city and alerted people that many roads and bridges are closed. They added that there has been major infrastructure damage across Anchorage with damage to many homes and buildings.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shared on Twitter that her house was damaged by the quake.

Originally Posted on SuchTv

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