A magnitude 7.0 earthquake with an epicenter just eight miles north of Anchorage struck Alaska at 8:29 a.m. this morning. Damage is still being assessed, but local police have said it caused "major infrastructure damage across Anchorage." Photos from the scene show heavy damage to buildings and roadways. Thankfully, a tsunami warning that followed the quake has since been canceled.
The quake occurred along the fault line between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates, which produced the largest earthquake in American history. The 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake measured 9.2 on the Richter scale and took 3,000 lives.
Complete reporting on today's quake is not yet available, but the U.S. Geological Survey estimates a low probability of fatalities. Still, it says there could be $100 million to $1 billion in damage.
Significant aftershocks continue, including one measuring 5.8.
Damage to the area appears to include significant power outages, collapsed bridges and overpasses, structure fires, and sinkholes.
In response to the now-canceled tsunami warning, Alaskans fled low-lying coastal areas to head inland, but their progress was frustrated by the damaged roadways. Traffic throughout the region is said to remain snarled.
Tsunami warnings remain in effect elsewhere across the Pacific. Consult the National Tsunami Warning Center for details.