go to content

Magnitude-6.8 Earthquake Hits Southern Alaska Early Sunday

The earthquake struck about 1:30 a.m. Alaska time and was centered 55 miles southeast of the town of Iliamna.

Posted on

A magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit southern Alaska early Sunday, waking residents and shaking buildings.

The earthquake struck about 1:30 a.m. Alaska time and was centered 55 miles southeast of the town of Iliamna and 160 miles southwest of Anchorage, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In its initial report, the agency had classified the earthquake as a magnitude-7.1 event.

The earthquake was widely felt by residents of Anchorage, and there are reports of scattered power outages.

Thanks for a 7.1 earthquake, Alaska. Now I'm wide awake worried about tsunamis & aftershocks & all the broken glass 😳 #homesweethome

Anchorage resident Ron Barta told the Associated Press his house began shaking about 1:34 a.m. when the earthquake hit. Barta, 55, says the pictures on the walls started moving, but there was no damage to his house and no one was hurt.

"I was sitting here with the dogs getting ready to go to bed about 1:34 local time. I felt a little rumble that didn't quit for about 30 to 45 seconds. It felt like the house moved," said Barta, who is married to an Associated Press reporter.

#Alaska #earthquake Big Big M7.1 felt all the way in Fairbanks @ 1:30am. Shaking hard enough to wake the whole family & freak my animals.

The violent shaking woke up Associated Press reporter Mark Thiessen, who had been asleep for about two hours when then quake struck.

"I remember the bed swaying back and forth, and loud noises, enough to wake me up even after taking sleeping pills," said Thiessen, 53. "My husband came into the bedroom forcefully saying, 'Get up! Get up!' " he said. "But I was already awake, trying to figure out what was happening."

Barta, who has lived in Anchorage for about 10 years, said Alaskans on social media say the earthquake woke them up.

People were saying on social media the earthquake "was the biggest I ever felt as long as I have lived here," Barta said.

7.1 Magnitude Earthquake in Alaska a bit ago. Destroyed my den!!

The Anchorage fire department said it was "really busy" responding to numerous fire alarms in the wake of the earthquake. The police department said shortly after 2 a.m. it had not received any reports of major damage or injury, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.

The Dispatch also reported power outages in West Anchorage from the quake.

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

Alicia Melville-Smith is a homepage editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alicia Melville-Smith at alicia.melville-smith@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.