ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Life in Alaska is slowly settling after a powerful earthquake that rattled buildings, disrupting power and severely damaging the only highway north of Anchorage.
Hundreds of aftershocks were still frayed Saturday night people are annoying when people were worried about being caught by more massive shakers.
"They are disturbing, and I do not pinch anything that might fall until they've calmed down," said Randall Cavanaugh, a lawyer in Anchorage, after a troubled night at home. "I was constantly awake."
Employees living in communities north of Anchorage have been encouraged to see if they can pick up Monday or work from home to reduce the number of cars on the Glenn Highway as crews repair damage.
Motorists who wanted to drive north on Friday stood practically still on the highway.
Gov. Bill Walker, who leaves the office on Monday, has given employees at Anchorage days off to ease the congestion.
"Although we are making great progress on the highway, we all need to take care of it. See if we can keep the volume down," urban manager Bill Falsey said at a press conference.
The 7.0 magnitude quake did not cause any major damage to buildings or the collapse of buildings. There is a good reason for that.
A devastating 1944 Alaska earthquake – the strongest in US history – led to tighter building regulations that were causing buildings on Fridays to change ground.
A seismic expert said Alaska and California apply the strictest standards to help buildings resist earthquakes.
Sterling Strait, a member of the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission, said that states have requested the International Building Code, which is considered the best available standard for seismic safety.
It requires buildings designed to withstand possible ground movements dictated by local and earthquake history.
It also requires that structural joints – girders and columns – be reinforced to resist shake resistance, "said Strait, seismic program coordinator at Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., operator of the 800-kilometer Alaska oil pipeline.
Walker sometimes said people, including himself, grouse about stringent building codes, but he's glad they were in place because he had little water damage in his house.
"Building codes mean something," he said.
The quake, located about 12 kilometers north of Anchorage, has a population of about 300,000 people running out of their offices or hiding under desks, followed within minutes by a 5.7-aftershock, followed by a series of minor quakes. 19659005] There were about 550 aftershocks in the 24 hours after Friday's Quail, including 11 with a magnitude of 4.5 or more.
The aftershocks are said to have occurred They will be weaker and rarer in the coming days, but officials have not been able to tell for sure when they will stop.
Ethan Berkowitz, mayor of Anchorage, said the scale of the damage was "relatively low," considering that Friday's earthquake is so great. He also wrote building codes for minimizing structural damage.
Roads took over the brunt of the damage. The Alaska Department of Transportation counted about 50 sites with damage, including eight as significant. The biggest damage was done to highways north of Anchorage. The agency also planned to carry out bridge inspections.
Earthquake damage also prevented trains on the Alaska Railroad from traveling between Anchorage and Fairbanks. The journey is 350 miles (563 km) per kilometer.