Alaska hit by powerful earthquake, buildings damaged

A powerful earthquake rocked Anchorage on Friday, violently shaking homes and businesses, sending scared residents into the streets and damaging buildings in Alaska’s largest city.

The 7.0-magnitude quake struck at 8:29 am (1729 GMT), in the middle of the school run and as workers were heading out for the day.

Several people were wounded, mainly from broken glass and falling objects, but no deaths were reported, according to US media.

The epicenter of the quake was about eight miles (13 kilometers) north of Anchorage at a depth of 25 miles, according to the US Geological Survey.

Police in the city of around 300,000 said it had caused “major infrastructure damage.”

“Many homes and buildings are damaged,” the police department said in a statement. “Many roads and bridges are closed. Stay off the roads if you don’t need to drive.” A tsunami warning was issued for the Cook Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula following the massive quake but was quickly lifted.

Residents posted pictures and videos to Twitter of damage to their homes and stores — belongings knocked off of shelves, broken windows and pictures scattered on the floor.

Local CBS television affiliate KTVA posted a video of a room shaking back and forth with panels falling from the ceiling and lights flickering on and off as people hid under desks.

“Everyone just sprinted out of the coffee shop I was at in Anchorage in the middle of a huge earthquake,” Nat Herz, a reporter with news portal Alaska’s Energy Desk, posted on Twitter.

“Car alarms going off, etc. But not seeing any serious damage here aside from random stuff falling over. People going back to computers, meetings.”

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said the authorities were worried about access to power following the quake.

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