7.0 earthquake shakes buildings in Anchorage, Alaska

Nov 30, 2018, 10:28 AM | Updated: 2:13 pm

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake has rocked buildings in Anchorage, Alaska, causing lamp posts and trees to sway, and prompting people to run out of offices and seek shelter under office desks.

Check the NW Earthquake Tracker

The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake Friday morning was centered about seven miles north of Alaska’s largest city.

Cracks could be seen in a two-story downtown Anchorage building, and photographs posted to social media showed fractured roads, as well as fallen ceiling tiles at an Anchorage high school. A large section of an overpass near the Anchorage airport collapsed, marooning a car on a narrow island of pavement next to where the road gave way.

The set of  Anchorage TV station KTVA collapsed and was destroyed. Water was seen in hallways and there was more damage throughout the building.

The quake also disrupted electrical service and knocked out traffic lights in Anchorage, snarling traffic.

People went back inside buildings after the earthquake, but a series of aftershocks a short time later sent them running back into the streets again.

Similarities to the Nisqually quake

The similarities between this Anchorage earthquake and the 2001 Nisqually quake in the south Puget Sound area don’t end at their magnitude (the Nisqually quake was a 6.8).

“In both Alaska, and here in Washington and Oregon, we have plates that are subducting underneath us,” said Regional Shake Alert Coordinator Mouse Reusch. “These quakes are actually coming from that plate, which is about 40 kilometers under Anchorage; here in Seattle it’s about 50 kilometers under us.”

Earthquakes of that size often can cause billions of dollars worth of damage, evidenced by the $2 billion of damage assessed in Washington state following the Nisqually quake. That said, Reusch also doesn’t see the Anchorage earthquake as a harbinger of more quakes in the Northwest region.

Tsunami warning

Following the quake, there was a tsunami warning in effect as well. Around noon Friday, the National Weather Service was comfortable declaring there there would be no tsunami.

According to the NWS, there was never a threat to the Pacific Northwest area.

“We are not expecting any tsunami to come down and effect the Washington, British Columbia, or Oregon Coast,” the National Weather Service’s Jay Albrecht told KIRO Radio. “Any time an earthquake goes over 7.0 where a tsunami can possibly be generated, the warning goes out automatically because there’s not a lot of time to respond.”

Additional reporting provided by the Associated Press.

Local News

Nurses admit a patient transferred from the ICU COVID unit to the acute care COVID unit at Harborvi...
Nicole Jennings

Legislature debates WA hospital staffing ratios as healthcare labor problem steeps

Hospital administrators and health workers are divided over a bill that would mandate staffing ratios in different hospital departments.
1 day ago
homes, single family zoning, moving company, Puget Sound housing...
Nick Bowman

Puget Sound housing market hits record numbers as prices continue to soar

Despite historically low inventory, the Puget Sound region housing market set records in 2021, as prices continued skyward.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

‘Right to repair’ bill would give Washington state consumers control over electronics repair

Washington state’s Legislature is considering a consumer protection bill intended to make it easier to repair personal electronics.
1 day ago
Nick Bowman

State lawmakers take up abortion debate amid uncertain future for Roe v. Wade

The national debate surrounding abortion and reproductive rights is also taking place in Washington during 2022's legislative session.
1 day ago
downtown shooting...
KIRO Newsradio staff

Open investigation after downtown Seattle shooting sends one to hospital

A 31-year-old man was transported to Harborview Medical Center on Wednesday after a shooting in downtown Seattle.
1 day ago
COVID Washington two years...
Nick Bowman

2 years after Washington identified nation’s first COVID case, future of pandemic remains unclear

As of this week, it's now been exactly two years since the first case COVID-19 cases was identified in both Washington and the United States. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
7.0 earthquake shakes buildings in Anchorage, Alaska