10 a.m.: This article was updated after an aftershock occurred and the quake was downgraded from magnitude 6.7 to a magnitude 6.6. She grew up in California and was familiar with earthquakes "but this was next-level", she said.
Former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin asked her Twitter followers to pray for the state, saying her home was damaged in the quake.
There were reports of damage done to a high school in Anchorage (as seen below).
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said the authorities were anxious about access to power following the quake.
Perhaps the most dramatic footage came from inside courtroom in downtown Anchorage, where the natural disaster set sent attorneys ducking for cover.
"Many homes and buildings are damaged", the police department said in a statement. People dove for cover as ceiling tiles fell from above and desks shook inside a courtroom.More news: Video Surfaces Of Kareem Hunt Pushing Woman
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The US Geological Survey has reported dozens of aftershocks.
He said: "We're fortunate on timing. this happened just at sunrise". A damaged off ramp near Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport drew a string of spectators.
The University of Alaska Anchorage campus was closing for the day, KTVA reported. "Past events with this alert level have required a regional or national level response", the center said on its website. A second quake measuring 5.8 hit moments later. Kodiak police on Kodiak Island warned people in the city of 6,100 to "evacuate to higher ground immediately" because of "wave estimated 10 minutes", according to The Associated Press. Several cars crashed at a major intersection in Wasilla, north of Anchorage, during the shaking.
Following the first tremor - which had a depth of 40.9km - a series of aftershocks were felt, with the most powerful reaching a magnitude of 5.7.
There are "widespread power outages and non-specific reports of damage" in Anchorage, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center, located some 350 miles north in Fairbanks.
This article was written by Mark Berman and Angela Fritz, reporters for The Washington Post.