Alaska earthquake awakens Ferris State hockey players

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Ferris State hockey players attending a weekend series in Fairbanks, were awoken on Thursday from the effects of an earthquake in Fairbanks, Alas., an FSU spokesman said on Friday.

The Associated Press reported back-to-back earthquakes measuring 7.0 and 5.7 shattered highways and rocked buildings on Friday in Anchorage and the surrounding area, sending people running into the streets and briefly triggering a tsunami warning for islands and coastal areas south of the city.

No tsunami arrived and there were no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the first and more powerful quake was centered about 7 miles (12 kilometers) north of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, with a population of about 300,000. People ran from their offices or took cover under desks. The 5.7 aftershock arrived within minutes, followed by a series of smaller quakes.

“We just hung onto each other. You couldn’t even stand,” said Sheila Bailey, who was working at a high school cafeteria in Palmer when the quake struck. “It sounded and felt like the school was breaking apart.”

A large section of an off-ramp near the Anchorage airport collapsed, marooning a car on a narrow island of pavement surrounded by deep chasms in the concrete. Several cars crashed at a major intersection in Wasilla, north of Anchorage, during the shaking.

Fairbanks is 360 miles north of Anchorage.

Ferris’ hockey team was scheduled to play Friday and Saturday at Fairbanks in a pair of Western Collegiate Hockey Association games. Both games had faceoff times of 11 p.m. EST.

“It woke a number of guys up in the hotel in Fairbanks, but no one was injured, confirmed by our athletic trainer Brady Hopkins,” Ferris State spokesman Harrison Watts said on Friday afternoon. “They left on time for morning skate, the game is to go on as scheduled. I did not make the trip, but have been communicating with several when I can. Contact with them is sparse currently with some bad cell service.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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