Hundreds of aftershocks shake Alaskans following big quake

Geneva Stokes
December 3, 2018

"It's one of those things where in your head, you think, 'OK, it's going to stop, ' and you say that to yourself so many times in your head that finally you think, 'OK, maybe this isn't going to stop, '" he said. "You could tell that it was a bad one". Downed lines were the expected cause of a fire at a church in Anchorage.

Alaska Governor Bill Walker told CBS News on Friday night that the state was just beginning to evaluate the extent of the damage.

As of midday Saturday, there had been no serious earthquake-related injuries reported, and crews were working to set up detours around some heavily damaged roads, officials said.

‎ 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.‎. The northbound Glenn Highway is closed by Eagle River Drive because of damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake Friday morning was centred about 12 kilometres north of Alaska's largest city.

"That scared the crud out of everybody, and everybody's freaking out a little bit", another rattled Alaskan said Friday afternoon, as students dove under their desks to take cover as the quake rocked classrooms. The Alaska Department of Transportation counted about 50 sites with damage, including eight considered major. Schools have been closed until December 10, which should also reduce traffic.

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Officials say in a release that the aftershocks continue to contribute to settling and additional cracking.

Walker said says he has spoken to President Donald Trump and the White House has offered to help. The trip is 350 miles (563 kilometers) each way.

Quake damage also was preventing Alaska Railroad trains from making the trek between Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Anchorage's school system canceled classes through Tuesday while it examined buildings for damage.

Alaska has been hit by a number of powerful quakes over 7.0 magnitude in recent decades, including a 7.9 that hit last January southeast of Kodiak Island. This quake wasn't almost as strong so any tsunami is unlikely to reach that level, but this is still a unsafe situation and should be monitored closely if you live anywhere across the Pacific.

The state has had an average of one magnitude 7 to 8 natural disaster every year since 1900, according to the state government website, and the state has more earthquakes than any other USA region.

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