FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Anchorage is in recovery after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit around 8:30 Friday, and it was felt up to 400 miles away. After the initial earthquake, a second 5.7 aftershock hit about five minutes later.
Roadways, including the exit ramp off of Minnesota onto International Airport Road, have collapsed due to the quake. School was let out for the day, and all state offices in Anchorage were closed. The Alaska Railroad has also experienced damage, and flooding has shut down certain facilities. The Trans-Alaska pipeline has also shut down to evaluate damage.
Hundreds of miles away in Fairbanks, residents felt the effects of this earthquake.
Friday we were at the State Troopers command center in Fairbanks, just after the earthquake occurred. The command center called all 'D' Detachment troopers to make sure the troopers and their families were okay, and to let them know they are on standby in case they are needed to come in. We spoke to Lieutenant Brian Wassmann, deputy commander of the 'D' detachment, about how they are helping down in Anchorage.
"Right now the 'D' Detachment state troopers in Fairbanks are serving in a support role just to try to make an assessment of number one, is there any damage in the Fairbanks area, once those checks are made, we're working with our counter parts in Anchorage to send assets down to the Anchorage area, who desperately need the help right now," he said.
As of news time, Lt. Wassmann confirmed that there have been no deaths reported, and there are 8 troopers from Fairbanks currently down in Wasilla providing relief for troopers in the Mat-su Valley.
Alaskans all over the state have been letting their friends and family members know that they are safe. We spoke to a family member of reporter Julie Swisher, who says the residual damage is leaving Anchorage residents with an aftershock of emotion.
"Well I'm still shaking inside. It's unbelievable. We've talked to most of our friends, everybody's very, very scared, especially those who are living alone, you know, the widows. And I think the emotions are pretty, pretty high. We can't drive anywhere, whereas in the '64 earthquake, a couple of our family members would go around to see what they can do or to see what was going on. So we're relying on the radio right now because no TV is available," said Helen Vik.
The 1964 earthquake was stronger than Friday's, with a 9.2 magnitude. That earthquake took place on Good Friday.