Back-to-back earthquakes measuring 7.0 and 5.8 rocked buildings and shattered roads in Anchorage on Friday, sending people running into the streets and briefly triggering a warning to residents in Kodiak to flee to higher ground for fear of a tsunami.
The warning was lifted a short time later. There were no immediate reports of any deaths or serious injuries.
The US Geological Survey said the first and more powerful quake was centered about 7 miles (12km) north of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, with a population of about 300,000. People ran from their offices or took cover under desks.
Cracks could be seen in a two-storey downtown Anchorage building, and photographs posted to social media showed fractured roads and collapsed ceiling tiles at an Anchorage high school. One image showed a car stranded on an island of pavement, surrounded by cavernous cracks where the earthquake split the road.