Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Anchorage; Tsunami Alert Issued for Part of Alaska

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In Kenai, southwest of Anchorage, Brandon Slaton was home alone and soaking in his bathtub when the quake struck.

Alaska averages 40,000 earthquakes per year, with more large quakes than the 49 other states combined.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially said it was a 6.7 magnitude quake and later boosted the magnitude to 7.0.

The U.S. Geological Survey says there have been 545 aftershocks, including a 5.7 magnitude shaker that followed Friday's big quake nearly immediately.

"The most striking thing about this event was that it was so close to Anchorage", Hayes said. Stay off the roads if you don't need to drive.

Emergency medical personnel answered 56 calls in the hours immediately after the temblor, although none involved serious injuries, Hettrick said.

A tsunami warning was issued for Cook Inlet, linking Anchorage with the Gulf of Alaska, but was later cancelled.

Photos and videos of the earthquake's damage have begun to circulate on social media.

"Car alarms going off, etc".

From Friday's quake to early Saturday morning, parts of Alaska experienced about 194 earthquakes, according to USGS. "It's dark. And we're not sure what the power situation is", Murkowski said.

Water lines and gas lines were broken.

"Because we don't have a big historic catalog of big earthquakes in the Puget Sound area, we have a lot of old, unsafe buildings that have not been retrofit and strengthened yet", Steele said. By comparison, today's 7.0 quake released three to four times more energy than the magnitude 6.7 Northridge event in 1994. The shaking damaged a few chimneys in Roxbury, Ebel said.

The University of Alaska announced it was closing for the day.

"I grabbed the essentials", Scaggs said.

Anchorage Airport has been forced to temporarily limit operations, after an quake caused an evacuation of the control tower. One image showed a auto stranded on an island of pavement, surrounded by cavernous cracks where the natural disaster split the road.

The city's schools were evacuated and parents were notified to pick up their children. One aftershock moved her piano a foot and half from the wall.

"The President has been briefed on the quake near Anchorage, Alaska, and is monitoring damage reports", wrote Sanders.