Anchorage region takes stock after earthquake

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Police block traffic on the southbound Glenn Highway north of Anchorage, due to earthquake damage.
Police block traffic on the southbound Glenn Highway north of Anchorage, due to earthquake damage. Photo Credit: JT Fisherman/Shutterstock

Anchorage-area residents continued assessing the damage caused by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that occurred at 8:29 a.m. on Friday. Centered between Palmer and Anchorage, north of Alaska's largest and most populous city, the quake and subsequent aftershocks damaged roads and buildings throughout the region.

The Alaska Travel Industry Association shared the following statement hours after the incident: "No injuries or deaths have been reported, but there is widespread infrastructure damage to roads, bridges and buildings in the surrounding areas and suburbs. Power is out in many places across the city. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport has grounded flights in and out of the airport. Travelers in Anchorage should take precautions as aftershocks continue, and those with upcoming travel plans may be impacted by numerous closures and should monitor updates based on their itinerary."

As of Friday afternoon, the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport had reopened but was operating in a limited capacity.

Jack Bonney of Visit Anchorage said that the organization's employees were safe and accounted for.

"Many are checking on their homes and regrouping with family. Visit Anchorage's facilities appear to be sound, and we're assessing for any damage," he said by email. "We'll have more information in the hours and days ahead, as the city and state get a better picture of the quake's effects."

The Anchorage Museum closed on Friday and remained closed on Saturday, as staff members surveyed the property for damage, said spokeswoman Jeanette Moores. The Alaska Railroad website reported that all trains were canceled through Dec. 2. Refunds will be issued to ticketholders.

At 5 p.m. on Friday, the Whittier Tunnel was open to traffic and the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities continued to conduct assessments of state-owned buildings in the area. 

Updated earthquake and travel information are available here.

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