Following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit north of Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday, the state’s most populated city is working hard to recover.
“It was frightening, but our entire staff is safe and accounted for,” Julie Saupe, president and CEO of Visit Anchorage, told Northstar Meetings Group. “We definitely have more clean up to do, but our facilities seem secure.”
According to the Anchorage Daily News, by Sunday night, more than 1,400 small earthquakes had rattled the area. No deaths were reported following the quake and its aftermath. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that as of Monday, 170 aftershocks of magnitude 3 or above had occurred.
The city’s two convention centers — the Dena’ina and Egan centers — already since Friday have served as shelters and have hosted meetings and events, including meal services, said Saupe. “That I am aware of, our hotels are all operational; I’ve heard reports of some cosmetic damage and broken pipes but no large structural concerns have been reported,” she added. “By Monday, downtown Anchorage felt almost ‘business as usual.'”
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport was closed for a short time on Friday but has resumed a normal schedule. Alaska Railroad is working to resume freight services and will have updates on passenger service soon as well; the reservations and ticketing office was scheduled to reopen Tuesday morning, Dec. 4. There has been localized infrastructure damage to some roads, bridges and buildings in the surrounding area. Updates are available here, and repair projects already are under way.
Travelers with scheduled trips should contact their hotels and tour operators for updates. For a directory of hotel and other tourism services in the impacted areas, go to the official tourism websites for Visit Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley. While the earthquake was felt in regions as far away as Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula, the tourism infrastructure there was not affected. Updates also are available here.