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Tsunami alert in Alaska after huge 7.0 earthquake

Anchorage, Alaska. Taken from Earthquake Park. (Frank Kovalchek/Flickr)
November 30, 2018

This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates.

A tsunami alert was issued for the Anchorage, Alaska area after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the area this morning.

UPDATE, 2:10 p.m. EST – The tsunami warning previously issued by the National Weather Service’s U.S. Tsunami Warning System has been canceled.

The quake struck approximately 10 miles north of Anchorage on Friday morning around 8:29 a.m. local time (12:29 p.m. EST), according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center – a division of the National Weather Center – issued a tsunami warning affecting only southern Alaska. The Cook Inlet and southern Kenai Peninsula are among the areas specifically named for the tsunami warning.

Tsunami activity is expected to begin around 9:30 a.m. local time for the Kodiak and Seward areas, however, no tsunami activity has been observed thus far.

Homer is forecasted to see tsunami activity at 11:45 a.m. local time.

Reports of injuries or damage are not yet known. The USGS estimated a “low likelihood of casualties” and some damage possible requiring local response.

The Alaska Earthquake Center reported several aftershocks after the main earthquake.

“There have been many aftershocks already, and there will be many more. Largest so far was a M5.7, 6 minutes after the mainshock and 3 miles north of Anchorage. We’ll put together an aftershock forecast as soon as possible,” they reported in a tweet.

A report by Anchorage Daily News said the quake “sent cracks up walls, damaged ceiling panels and flung items off desks and walls, including a computer monitor and a fire extinguisher.”

Video from an Anchorage grocery store shows significant water damage caused by the quake.

Another video from Colony High School in Palmer shows teachers and students hiding under their desks, with light fixtures still swaying, and cabinet doors still flung open from the tremors.

Power outages have also been reported in the area.

“We are doing assessment and inspection right now. We need to inspect our equipment for damage before we can re-energize,” said Chugach Electric Association, a primary electric company in Anchorage. “The power outage map on our website is currently not accurate. We will continue to update throughout the day.”