On Friday morning the area of Anchorage, Alaska was hit with a 7.0 on the richter scale following the recurring path that the city is starting to experience. The result was churned up and mangled roads and business were sent running out of their office buildings. The exact location was said to be somewhere roughly five miles north of the state’s capital and largest city, coming in at roughly 300,000. Initial assessments tell us that there are no reported casualties but the state’s infrastructure was hit very hard.
Reports from Republican Sen.Lisa Murkowski say that the main concern facing the state now is recovery efforts and safety for everyone. Many of the state’s homes are still without power days after and further disaster could start with broken gas lines leading to fires or leaks. Following the initial 7.0 magnitude earthquake the city is still facing aftershocks that are hitting as high as 5.0 magnitude. All highways, with the exception of a northern one, are out in Anchorage which also makes this situation troublesome for support efforts to come in.
We must start to ask why this is happening to the city every year for the last 20 some years and that is mainly due t the city’s location. Right off the southern Alaskan shoreline the Aleutian Trench has formed as a result of these shifting tectonic plates. While the city is located here the plate’s aren’t extremely active but with a recurring theme of yearly earthquakes more could come, as Alaska does average roughly 40,000 earthquakes per year, totaling more large quakes than the other 49 states combined. Still the earthquake shouldn’t stay merely another statistic in the large period of quakes the city has been experiencing as one Anchorage native said it was one of the worst earthquakes he’d experienced in 20 years.
The long run effects the city is going to experience will mostly be the damage to roadways. Report of one of the state’s scenic highways that leads out of Anchorage into the mountains say that the road has completely sunken and has disappeared. A few bridges have been reported down and police say that in downtown Anchorage it appears that some buildings may be in disrepair as one two-story building has cracks showing outside. Repairs should be able to be taken care of as the federal Disaster Relief Fund has around $30 billion in funds, but it will still take a while to determine the full scope of the damage and how much assistance may be needed later.
The big fear of so many downed roadways, as well as one leading to and from the airport, is that winter is coming and if repairs are to be made they must be made now. The city of Anchorage may be suffering through the damage for prolonged period of time, but also the whole state as a majority of goods are brought in through the port capital.