'Back-to-back earthquakes measuring 7.0 and 5.7 shattered highways and rocked buildings Friday in Anchorage, Alaska and the surrounding area, sending people running into the streets and briefly triggering a tsunami warning for islands and coastal areas south of the city.
No tsunami arrived and there were no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries, but significant damage was caused across the city.
The US Geological Survey said the first and more powerful quake was centered about 7 miles (12 kilometers) north of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, with a population of about 300,000. People ran from their offices or took cover under desks. The 5.7 aftershock arrived within minutes, followed by a series of smaller quakes.
"We just hung onto each other. You couldn't even stand," said Sheila Bailey, who was working at a high school cafeteria in Palmer when the quake struck. "It sounded and felt like the school was breaking apart."
A large section of an off-ramp near the Anchorage airport collapsed, marooning a car on a narrow island of pavement surrounded by deep chasms in the concrete. Several cars crashed at a major intersection in Wasilla, north of Anchorage, during the shaking.
Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll said he had been told that parts of Glenn Highway, a scenic route that runs northeast out of the city past farms, mountains and glaciers, had "completely disappeared."
Traffic in the three lanes heading out of the city was bumper-to-bumper and all but stopped Friday afternoon as emergency vehicles passed on the shoulder.
The quake broke store windows, knocked items off shelves, opened cracks in a two-story building downtown, disrupted electrical service and disabled traffic lights, snarling traffic. It also threw a full-grown man out of his bathtub.'
Read more: Back-to-back earthquakes shatter roads and windows in Alaska
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