Scenes of Destruction as 7.0 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Alaska

A massive earthquake on Friday has triggered a tsunami warning for parts of southern Alaska.
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake near Anchorage, Alaska has caused widespread destruction in the region, parts of which are also under a tsunami warning.
Image: Twitter/AngelinaBabee

A massive earthquake shook southern Alaska on Friday afternoon, prompting a tsunami warning (now cancelled) for the coastal regions of Cook Inlet and southern Kenai Peninsula.

Tweets from Alaska residents show scenes of destruction when the 7.0 magnitude quake struck roughly 8 miles north of Anchorage—the state’s largest city—reportedly causing roads to crack and buildings to shake. Many tweeted photos of damaged homes and business, and one person shared footage apparently showing an exploding transformer. CNN reported that its local affiliate KTUU was knocked off the air.


Preliminary measurements from the National Weather Service differed at a 7.2 magnitude. The US Geological Survey, which preliminarily clocked the earthquake at 6.7 magnitude before upgrading it to 7, has reported at least four aftershocks, according to CNN, the largest being 5.8 in Anchorage. The Alaska Earthquake Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks detected 40 aftershocks within the first three hours.

Federal and state authorities have yet to publicly comment on the quake’s potential causes. It’s not immediately clear if the earthquake has resulted in injuries or fatalities.

While the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration issued tsunami warnings for parts of Alaska, other states in the region did not received alerts. No alert was issued for Hawaii, either, which was hit by a devastating tsunami triggered by an earthquake along the Alaskan coast in 1946.

Tsunamis can travel hundreds of miles per hour. People in Cook Inlet and the southern Kenai Peninsula were urged to stay off the beach and move to higher ground.

“HOLY CRAP,” one Alaska resident tweeted. “The earthquake was enormous! My house is trashed and roads are down. My poor dog is freaking out. Stay safe y'all!”

“We hope that everyone is safe after the earthquake,” Anchorage School District said on Twitter, encouraging parents to pick up their children. “We are assessing building safety and damages now.”

This story has been updated.