The magnitude 7 earthquake jolted Anchorage on Friday cracked buildings, damaged roads and buckled bridges, drawing rapid comparisons to the 1964 event that devastated the region and remains a prominent part of resident’s history.
Despite hundreds of aftershocks, residents of this port city marveled that the damage had not been considerably worse.
Fires as a result of the quake, according to City Hall, also two reports of construction collapse are being investigated. However, other cities might not have worked out so nicely.
The 1964 quake and the tsunami that followed destroyed scores of homes and wiped out several small towns along the coast, leaving over a 100 dead.
“We have come a long way since the 1964 earthquake,” said Joey Yang, the chairman of the civil engineering program at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
“Anchorage definitely knows about the power and damage a major earthquake can cause to the infrastructure and buildings.”
Developers must undergo stringent demands before building here, he added, particularly in some of the most seismically sensitive places.
Professor Yang is a part of an earthquake commission that advises city leaders, whom he credited with taking the construction review process seriously.
People on Saturday had begun to return to normal as shopkeepers and households cleaned up the mess, thankful to have left without tragedy.
Suburban commuters were stranded on Friday because of damage To significant roads. Some people were left without shelter in below-freezing temperatures as their properties were inspected for structural damage.
“The whole house was shaking, you could see the floor rolling up and down,” Anders Olmstead said. “Different rooms in my house were going in different angles. I was pretty scared. I’ve lived here my whole life. We kind of laugh off earthquakes in Alaska because you’ve been through so many, hundreds — some of them you sleep through.”
He explained he could hear the”Joints of his house snapping” And things falling all around him.
Significant aftershocks overnight designed for restless sleep for the community.
The earthquake was one of the strongest that longtime residents have experienced, so intense that it scared even hardened Alaskans who know seismic activity is a fact of life here.
When it struck a few miles north of Anchorage on Friday morning, panicked Alaskans round the city ducked for cover or ran out into the chill.
Professor Yang said that the damage around the town”Was Definitely less than I would expect based on the severity of the earthquake,” he explained the quake which struck almost 30 miles below ground, helped defuse its power.
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz told city residents on Saturday Morning that”We’re in complete recovery mode” and “On the road to returning to normal.”
Many companies downtown stayed closed, some marked with caution tape, anticipating safety inspectors to assess any structural damage.
In many stores, shop managers were already taking stock of inventory.
Schools, according to officials, would remain closed until Tuesday.
Through the day, at coffee shops, at gas stations and on Facebook, residents continued to exchange stories of confusion and alarm.