Back-to-back earthquakes measuring 7.0 and 5.8 rocked buildings and shattered roads Friday morning in Anchorage, Alaska, 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 U.S. Geological Survey said the first and more powerful quake was centred about 12 kilometres 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-story 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.
Cereal boxes and packages of batteries littered the floor of a grocery store, and picture frames and mirrors were knocked from living room walls.
People went back inside after the first earthquake struck, but the 5.8 aftershocks about five minutes later sent them running back into the streets.