Magnitude 6.8 earthquake jolts Alaska; 1 home explodes

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A magnitude-6.8 earthquake knocked items off shelves and walls in south-central Alaska and jolted the nerves of residents in this earthquake-prone region.

See Full Article

But there were no immediate reports of injuries.

One home was extensively damaged and an entire neighbourhood was evacuated after a gas leak was reported, Kenai Police Chief Gus Sandahl said Sunday morning.

The earthquake struck about 1:30 a.m. Alaska time and was centred 53 miles west of Anchor Point in the Kenai Peninsula, which is about 160 miles southwest of Anchorage, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. About two hours later, a magnitude-4.3 aftershock hit the Cook Inlet, the agency said. A slightly stronger aftershock -- magnitude-4.7 --hit the Cook Inlet at 5.29 a.m.

In the community of Kenai, located on the Kenai Peninsula, about 30 homes were evacuated after a gas leak was reported.

A responding police officer extinguished a fire that started in a house. But flames started coming under a wall, and the officer backed off to let firefighters finish the work, Sandahl said.

A home neighbouring the one that was on fire then exploded hours after the quake, Sandahl said. All firefighters and gas utility workers were accounted for, and there were no reports of injuries.

Crews were "definitely still trying to resolve the gas issue," Sandal said nearly eight hours after the earthquake.

A shelter was set up at the Kenai Armory for those evacuating their homes, and Sandahl said there were about 20 people there.

The earthquake was widely felt by residents of Anchorage. But the Anchorage and Valdez police departments said they have not received any reports of injury or significant damage.

Vincent Nusunginya, 34, of Kenai said he was at his girlfriend's house when the earthquake hit.

"It started out as a shaking and it seemed very much like a normal earthquake. But then it started to feel like a normal swaying, like a very smooth side-to-side swaying," said Nusunginya, director of audience at the Peninsula Clarion newspaper. "It was unsettling. Some things got knocked over, but there was no damage."

There were reports of scattered power outages from the Matanuska Electric Association and Chugach Electric in the Anchorage area. The Homer Electric Association reported on its website that about 4,800 customers were without power early Sunday in the Kenai Peninsula.

The Alaska Department of Transportation reported on its Facebook page that there was road damage near the community of Kasilof, on the Kenai Peninsula.

Andrew Sayers, 26, of Kasilof was watching television when the quake struck.

"The house started to shake violently. The TV we were watching fell over, stuff fell off the walls," he said. "Dishes were crashing, and we sprinted toward the doorway."

Later, he was driving to his mother's home when he came across a stretch of K-Beach road that was damaged in the quake.

"We launched over this crack in the road. It's a miracle we didn't bust our tires on it," he said.

Sayers took video of the road damage.

Fire departments in Kenai, Anchorage and other communities received calls about the quake.

Alaska response personnel staffed the State Emergency Operations Centers in Anchorage and called communities that could have been impacted by the earthquake, Jeremy Zidek, the spokesman for the Alaska Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said in an email to The Associated Press.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough reported some damage, but didn't request additional assistance within 90 minutes of the quake, Zidek said.

The hashtag .akquake was trending early Sunday on Twitter, where people were sharing their experiences of the quake and posting photos of items that had fallen off walls and shelves.

After reaching his mother's house, Sayers checked on his grandparents, who live about a mile away.

"No damage, except their Christmas tree fell over," he said.

A tsunami is not expected as a result of the earthquake, the National Weather Service said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Armed school officer didn't confront Florida gunman, sheriff says

    World News CBC News
    The armed officer on duty at the Florida school where a shooter killed 17 people never went inside to engage the gunman and has been placed under investigation, officials announced Thursday. The Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by a gunman armed with an AR-15 style assault rifle has reignited national debate over gun laws and school safety, including proposals by U.S. Source
  • School officer never went inside to confront gunman, Florida sheriff says

    World News CTV News
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The armed officer on duty at the Florida school where a shooter killed 17 people never went inside to engage the gunman and has been placed under investigation, officials announced Thursday. The Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by a gunman armed with an AR-15 style assault rifle has reignited national debate over gun laws and school safety, including proposals by President Donald Trump and others to designate more people -- including trained…
  • 'You didn't win': Singer Susan Aglukark publicly names her abuser at MMIWG hearings

    Canada News CBC News
    Susan Aglukark ended the Rankin Inlet hearing for the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women by addressing the man she says sexually abused her when she was eight years old. "Norman Ford," she said on Thursday afternoon. Source
  • Jaspal Atwal, B.C. man at centre of media storm over Trudeau invite, likes posing with politicians

    Canada News CBC News
    For a man once convicted of trying to kill a politician, Jaspal Atwal seems to have had little trouble getting his picture taken with MPs, cabinet ministers and Liberal party leaders, including Justin Trudeau. Atwal — convicted in 1986 of the attempted assassination of an Indian state cabinet minister visiting Vancouver Island — is at the centre of an international media storm after posing for photos with Prime Minister Trudeau's wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and Infrastructure Minister…
  • Tina Fontaine's death and Raymond Cormier's trial: What the jury heard

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- Jurors sat through three weeks of evidence in the trial of Raymond Cormier, 56, who on Thursday was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the slaying of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine. Tina's body, wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down by rocks, was pulled from the Red River in Winnipeg several days after she disappeared in August 2014. Source
  • B.C. seeks reference case over pipeline to affirm its rights over oil shipments

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- The British Columbia government will ask the courts if it has the right to protect its environment by restricting diluted bitumen in the Trans Mountain pipeline. Premier John Horgan said Thursday his government is filing a constitutional reference case on the issue, which has been at the centre of a heated dispute between B.C. Source
  • Wine ban suspended: Truce called in trade war between B.C. and Alberta

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- The Alberta government has accepted an olive branch from British Columbia and is suspending its ban on the province's wine in an ongoing dispute over the Trans Mountain pipeline. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley took the step after B.C. Source
  • Toddler who befriended Nova Scotia garbage men gets special birthday gift

    Canada News CTV News
    Every Wednesday, three-year-old Hiro Getson walks to the end of his driveway, sits down and waits for the garbage truck. Like many kids his age, the toddler from Eastern Passage, N.S. has developed a love of big trucks. Source
  • Raymond Cormier not guilty in death of Tina Fontaine, 15

    Canada News CBC News
    Read our live coverage belowA jury has found Raymond Cormier not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Tina Fontaine. After the verdict was delivered, people in the crowd burst into tears and gasps of disbelief were heard from members of the teen girl's family and supporters. Source
  • Hunters fined for shooting couple's pet pigs

    Canada News CBC News
    Two men who shot and killed a Navan couple's cherished pot-bellied pigs last November have been fined after pleading guilty Thursday. The pigs, named Pickles and Rosie, were companion animals to Matt Nooyen and Lianne Guilbeault, and even participated as members of the couple's wedding party last September. Source