Alaskans Recount Earthquake Experiences
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Back-to-back earthquakes rocked buildings and shattered roads Friday morning in Anchorage, sending people running into the streets.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the first and more powerful quake was centered about 7 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, with a population of about 300,000.
The largest earthquakes measured 7.0 and 5.7 in magnitude near Anchorage.
Reports are pouring in from residents as they tell their experiences with the quakes.
Tim Craig, an owner of Anchorage True Value Hardware in south Anchorage, says the quake knocked hundreds of items onto the floor and caused two stockroom shelves to become unbolted from the wall and collapse.
No one was hurt. Six off-duty employees, and some customers, offered to help clean up after the earthquake hit Tuesday morning.
Craig and his wife were driving to the store when the quake hit and he says their car was bouncing.
An overhead traffic signal bobbing over their heads caused immediate concern and his wife pulled over because she was worried it would fall.
The quake knocked out numerous stoplights, snarling traffic in downtown Anchorage.
Fifteen-year-old Sadie Blake and other members of the Homer High School wrestling team were at an Anchorage school gymnasium waiting for a tournament to start when the earthquake hit.
She says the bleachers started rocking "like crazy" and then the lights went out. People ran the bleachers in the pitch dark, trying to get out.
Team chaperone Ginny Grimes says Tuesday's quake created "a gym full of screams."
By the time it was over, Sadie was still in the gym and says she started crying while hanging out in a nearby mall with her team.
April Pearce was at her desk at work in the assessor's office in the small city of Soldotna and started filming once she realized the rumbling of the Alaska earthquake was the start of something big.
In the video, the murmurs of her colleagues can be heard as filing cabinets jostle.
Pearce says: "Holy smokes."
She says in an email later that people were gasping and panicking and called the event "spooky." Her home escaped major damage, but some Christmas decorations fell down.
Molly McCammon says was at home waiting for a work teleconference when the quake started.
She says she's lived in Alaska 45 years and called Friday's earthquake "worst earthquake I've ever been in."
McCammon had taken a tour Thursday of the Anchorage Emergency Operations Center in her role as a member of the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council. One of the topics was earthquake preparation.
She says: "Then it happens the next day."
McCammon says the quake reminded her how much more emergency preparation she needs to do. She plans to sign up for an emergency alert system and make sure she has an emergency kit on hand.