Alaska hit by more than 230 small earthquakes since Friday

More than 230 small earthquakes have hit parts of Alaska since Friday, when a 7.0-magnitude quake knocked ou...

Posted: Dec 3, 2018 2:05 AM
Updated: Dec 3, 2018 2:05 AM

More than 230 small earthquakes have hit parts of Alaska since Friday, when a 7.0-magnitude quake knocked out power, ripped open roads and splintered buildings near Anchorage, the US Geological Survey said.

Still, local officials said life was returning to normal even as four to eight inches of snow were expected on Sunday.

Accidents, disasters and safety

Air transportation

Airports

Alaska

Anchorage

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Earth sciences

Earthquakes

Geology

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Natural disasters

North America

Northwestern United States

Political Figures - US

Politics

Science

The Americas

Transportation and warehousing

United States

US federal government

White House

"This is the second largest earthquake we've had since 1964, which was a very significant earthquake," Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz told reporters Saturday, referring a historic magnitude-9.2 quake that was the most powerful recorded temblor in US history.

"But in terms of a disaster, I think it says more about who we are than what we suffered. I would characterize this as a demonstration that Anchorage is prepared for these kind of emergencies."

Berkowitz said during a Saturday night press conference the city was returning to normal.

"We know that we have to be prepared because we're never impervious to earthquakes or the weather," he said.

Despite damage to roads and buildings, no fatalities or serious injuries were reported, officials said. In Alaska's largest city -- with a population of about 300,000 -- airports, hospitals, emergency services and most businesses were operating.

"The bottom line on the utility structure is that the power is up, the heat is on, the communication lines are opening," said Anchorage Municipal Manager Bill Falsey. He added Saturday that the state's department of transportation mobilized four teams of bridge inspectors who remained in a 24-hour operation center until the earthquake situation was resolved.

"At this point, though, we're not seeing a significant amount of bridge damage," Falsey said.

Most of the smaller earthquakes since Friday's big one were not felt. More than a dozen were higher than magnitude 4 and a handful greater than magnitude 5, Falsey said.

But a magnitude-5.2 aftershock about 11 p.m. Friday was the second-biggest event since a magnitude-5.7 temblor hit minutes after the main quake, according to Gavin Hayes, a research geophysicist with the USGS.

"That would have given people a shake and probably a bit of a scare given what they went through yesterday," he told CNN on Saturday.

The magnitude-7.0 earthquake sent residents scurrying for cover when it hit about 8:30 a.m. Friday local time. The quake was centered 10 miles northeast of Anchorage, the state's largest city.

"The most striking thing about this event was that it was so close to Anchorage," Hayes said. "That's why it has caused the damage that we're seeing. Had it been a little further away from Anchorage I don't think it would be getting very much attention. It's not an unusual earthquake in the perspective of the tectonics of the region."

'This was a big one'

Roads buckled under passing cars and grocery store products tumbled from shelves. In court, panicked attorneys scurried under tables as a room rocked from side to side.

"It was very loud when it came," Berkowitz said Friday. "It was very clear that this was something bigger than what we normally experience. We live in earthquake country ... but this was a big one."

Palmer resident Kristin Dossett described the initial jolt as "absolutely terrifying."

It was the biggest quake she has felt in her 37 years in a region where temblors are common, Dossett said. One aftershock moved her piano a foot and half from the wall.

"It shook like I have never felt anything shake before," she said.

"It just didn't stop. It kept going and got louder and louder, and things just fell everywhere — everything off my dressers, off my bookcases, my kitchen cupboard. Just broken glass everywhere."

Authorities don't have firm figures on damage yet. Helicopters and drones were assessing infrastructure across the region. Jodie Hettrick, Chief of the Anchorage Fire Department, said Saturday there were no significant earthquake-related injuries, but some municipal employees had minor injuries after diving under desks or having things fall on them.

Hettrick also said the fire and police departments haven't received any reports of missing people.

The Anchorage School District canceled classes Monday and Tuesday to assess facility damage. Deena Bishop, Anchorage School District superintendent, said the district was able to evacuate children and reunite them with their families safely.

"Students did a great job with their training and earthquake preparation," she said. "Students know to drop, get under something and hold on. That is their desks."

Bishop added that of the 48,000 students and 6,000 adults in the school system, only two injuries were reported. One was a custodial employee who had injuries related to broken glass and one student had a possible broken wrist.

Seismologists predict more aftershocks

Gov. Bill Walker has issued a disaster declaration.

Philip Peterson was in a multistory building in downtown Anchorage as the structure swayed and coffee mugs fell from tables and tiles from the ceiling.

"I just jumped under my desk and had to ride it out," Peterson said.

The 7.0 earthquake was felt up to 400 miles outside of Anchorage, said Michael West, the Alaska state seismologist.

He called it the most significant earthquake in Anchorage since 1964.

"I think it's safe to say that, not measured in magnitude or location but in terms of how strong the ground itself shook during the earthquake," he said during a question-and-answer session at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Two of the city's main hospitals -- Alaska Regional and Providence Alaska Medical Center -- sustained damage but emergency rooms were open, according to hospital officials.

The Anchorage Police Department reported "major infrastructure damage" across the city.

Blair Braverman said she was staying in a hotel with her husband when the quake hit. She grew up in California and was familiar with earthquakes "but this was next-level," she said.

"My husband sort of crawled across the room and threw himself on top of me and we crawled to the bathroom together and waited it out in the doorway and waited out the aftershocks."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 514171

Reported Deaths: 10285
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34920557
DeSoto33270432
Hinds32652642
Jackson24876391
Rankin22516404
Lee16366245
Madison14932283
Jones14129247
Forrest13785260
Lauderdale12279324
Lowndes11314193
Lamar10663140
Pearl River9720244
Lafayette8855143
Hancock7839132
Washington7553169
Oktibbeha7216138
Monroe7036179
Pontotoc7003109
Warren6872178
Panola6768135
Neshoba6732210
Marshall6686142
Bolivar6451151
Union640898
Pike5933156
Alcorn5887107
Lincoln5533136
George510380
Prentiss505385
Tippah492783
Itawamba4857107
Scott478199
Adams4771125
Tate4765117
Leflore4736144
Copiah457095
Yazoo456692
Simpson4554117
Wayne443172
Covington434695
Sunflower4315106
Marion4279112
Coahoma4238109
Leake414090
Newton395782
Tishomingo384894
Grenada3777109
Stone365766
Jasper340866
Attala338790
Winston317892
Chickasaw316167
Clay312578
Clarke301295
Calhoun285949
Holmes271889
Smith269452
Yalobusha244247
Tallahatchie232053
Greene224749
Walthall221866
Lawrence219141
Perry213456
Amite209857
Webster206248
Noxubee188743
Montgomery181857
Carroll174941
Jefferson Davis173843
Tunica163339
Benton153139
Kemper145041
Choctaw136727
Claiborne134439
Humphreys132139
Franklin126029
Quitman107628
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845761

Reported Deaths: 16119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161862004
Mobile742411381
Madison53315732
Shelby38351369
Baldwin38104589
Tuscaloosa36052641
Montgomery34492781
Lee25590263
Calhoun22598518
Morgan22459406
Etowah20026518
Marshall18790316
Houston17741425
St. Clair16904358
Limestone16153219
Cullman16067303
Elmore15912294
Lauderdale14991306
Talladega14209299
DeKalb12985269
Walker12067380
Blount10729192
Autauga10526157
Jackson10170194
Coffee9425192
Colbert9341208
Dale9024192
Tallapoosa7273201
Russell708865
Chilton7042170
Escambia6956143
Covington6943195
Franklin6338108
Chambers5785142
Marion5413130
Dallas5295209
Pike5123109
Clarke484886
Lawrence4831129
Winston4780110
Geneva4643136
Bibb434594
Barbour369980
Butler3439100
Marengo342393
Monroe337466
Randolph334867
Pickens333988
Fayette330085
Henry320766
Hale318489
Cherokee318363
Crenshaw260777
Washington256952
Cleburne254560
Lamar251953
Clay251169
Macon245064
Conecuh193162
Coosa185547
Lowndes178268
Wilcox177638
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 63°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 65°
Oxford
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 59°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 68°
Above normal temperatures will be the rule for our area over the next several days. We will stay on the dry side until this weekend.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather