Magnitude-5.2 quake jolts Alaska's largest city

An earthquake rocked Alaska's largest city and other parts of the state's most populated region on Thursday, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

An earthquake rocked Alaska's largest city and other parts of the state's most populated region on Thursday, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The quake struck with a magnitude of 5.2 shortly after 11 a.m., according to seismologists at the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. It was centered about 50 miles southwest of Anchorage, said tsunami program manager Cindi Pressler.

The quake occurred 30 miles below ground and rumbled for several seconds. It would not generate a tsunami, the warning center said just after the quake.

Kenai Peninsula officials had no reports of damage or injuries, said Jeremy Zidek, spokesman for the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

There also were no reports of damage or injuries in Anchorage, police spokeswoman Anita Shell said. The Anchorage Fire Department didn't even get any calls in the immediate aftermath, said dispatcher Lori Zaumseil, who shrugged off the shaker.

"This is Alaska," she said. "This is how we roll. We're tough."

Anchorage schools students recently held an earthquake disaster drill, and school district spokeswoman Heidi Embley said several were seen ducking under their desks when the shaking started Thursday.

The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the event was widely felt in the Kenai Peninsula and Cook Inlet regions, with the strongest shaking occurring in the Peninsula communities of Sterling and Soldotna.

Andrew Smith, who works in payroll at Soldotna City Hall, said the shaking came in two rounds.

"At first, it felt like somebody was walking across the floor here, like walking real heavy. Then it stopped. Then was a five- or six-second delay, then it really shook."

The shaking continued 10 to 15 seconds, he said.

"I'm really quite scared of earthquakes," Smith said. "You just never know when they are going to stop or how long it's going to last."

Outside the Soldotna Fred Meyer store, Tracy Poitry was sitting in her car, eating lunch, when the vehicle began bobbing.

"I thought someone was messing with my car," said Poitry, a clerk in the store's home electronics department. For her, the quake was no big deal.

"We get pretty used to these around here," she said.


Associated Press writer Mark Thiessen contributed to this report.

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