A massive magnitude 7 quake hit Anchorage, Alaska‘s largest city, in the early hours of Friday morning (9am AZT). The US Geological Survey has reported the earthquake originated around 7 miles away from Anchorage and locals reported buildings swaying because of the quake and its aftershocks. Local authorities have issued a tsunami warning covering coastal communities in southern Alaska shortly after the earthquake.
Terrifying footage shared on Twitter captured the devastating effects the earthquake had on the main road leading Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage.
A large sinkhole can be seen splitting the highway in two, with a car teetering on the edge of the hole.
People can be heard in the background warning each other to stay away from the edge because of the possibility of the road opening up further.
A tsunami warning is in effect for the Cook Inlet area and Southern Kenai Peninsula, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center.
People are being warned to stay away from the beach and to seek higher ground inland immediately if the tide starts to go out.
Terrified residents took to social media to share their experiences of the tremor with video posted on Twitter showing people taking cover under tables as light fixtures and furniture rocks back and forth.
Another picture showing the aftermath of the quake shows part of the ceiling in a shop collapsed.
Widespread power cuts have been reported with unconfirmed reports suggesting a bridge in Anchorage collapsed from the shaking.
According to earthquake monitoring service EMSC, 510,000 people live within the affected area. It is not year clear whether there have been any injuries.
Parents have been told to pick up their children from school as soon as they feel safe doing so.
A series of four aftershocks have hit after the 7.0 quake, with a 5.8 magnitude tremor recorded six minutes later and a 4.6 tremor felt at 5.42pm GMT, according to the US Geological Survey.
Residents shared their experiences of the tremor on the EMSC site, with those close to the epicentre saying they were forced to run for safety.
One person said: “Things fell over and broke. Shook house severely for several seconds. Power out. I ran out of house. Aftershocks now.”
Another added: “Building was shaking and had to run out for safety!”
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin tweeted her support for the residents affected by the earthquake: “Praying for Alaska. Our family is intact – house is not… I imagine that’s the case for many, many others. So thankful to be safe; praying for our state following the earthquake.”