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

  • Bans on campfires, backcountry travel lifted in B.C. as wildfire risk drops

    Canada News CTV News
    WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. -- Restrictions on travel to British Columbia's backcountry and campfires are slowly being lifted in some parts of the province as improved conditions have lowered the wildfire risk. Campfires are once again allowed in most areas of the Prince George and northwest fire centres while officials from the BC Wildfire Service say a ban prohibiting access to the backcountry in the Cariboo region will also be rescinded by the end of the day. Source
  • Charlottesville covers Confederate statues in black

    World News CTV News
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Workers in Charlottesville draped giant black covers over two statues of Confederate generals on Wednesday to symbolize the city's mourning for a woman killed while protesting a white nationalist rally. The work began around 1 p.m. Source
  • U.S. rock band Allah-Las' Rotterdam show cancelled due to threat

    World News CBC News
    A bus with Spanish licence plates and containing gas bottles was found near a concert hall in Rotterdam, where a rock concert was cancelled earlier Wednesday due to a threat, the Dutch port city's mayor said. Source
  • Striking Pearson ground crew workers will vote on a new offer tonight: union

    Canada News CBC News
    Striking ground crew workers at Canada's busiest airport are voting Wednesday on whether to accept a new contract offer and potentially end a four-week-long work stoppage. About 700 cabin cleaners, baggage handlers, and other ground crew workers employed by Swissport at Toronto's Pearson International Airport have been on strike since late July. Source
  • Halifax cab driver guilty of sexual assault

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- A Halifax cab driver has been convicted of sexually assaulting a female passenger last July. Saher Hamdan sexually assaulted a young woman as she waited to pay her fare on July 15, 2016. Source
  • Piglets saved in barn fire made into sausages for firefighters who rescued them

    World News Toronto Sun
    A number of piglets in England had their bacon saved from a barn fire. But months later, they were turned into organic sausages and given to the firefighters who saved them. Farmer Rachel Rivers promised the firefighters some sausages made from the 18 rescued piglets as a token of thanks after her barn went up in flames in February. Source
  • Bremerton High School football coach Joe Kennedy fired for praying after games loses appeal

    World News Toronto Sun
    SEATTLE — A Washington state high school football coach took advantage of his position when he prayed on the field after games, and he’s not entitled to immediately get his job back, a federal appeals court said Wednesday. Source
  • 5 things the federal government is doing about the influx of border crossers

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Nearly 7,000 people have crossed illegally into Canada in the last six weeks, most intent on filing for refugee status. The surge this summer caps seven months of near-steady increases in the number of people entering into Canada between official border crossings to seek asylum. Source
  • Terror threat leads to cancellation of Allah-Las show in Rotterdam

    World News CTV News
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands - A rock music venue in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam says it has cancelled a concert by American group Allah-Las because of a "terror threat." Concert organizer Rotown said on Twitter that Wednesday night's concert at the Maassilo venue was cancelled on orders of police. Source
  • Rock band Allah-Las' Rotterdam show cancelled due to 'terror threat'

    World News CTV News
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- A concert in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam by American rock group Allah-Las was cancelled Wednesday night because of a "terror threat," police said in a statement. "Police took this information seriously enough that after discussion with organizers it was decided to cancel the event," the Rotterdam police statement said. Source