Anchorage Travel Earthquake FAQ
Anchorage is ready to welcome visitors. The city experienced a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on November 30, 2018. Travel-related infrastructure saw little to no disruption. This guide answers the most likely travel-related questions about the earthquake and recovery.
Is it safe to visit right now?
Yes. Damage to public infrastructure was minimal, and the city is ready to welcome travelers. Major roads are all open to regular traffic, and even the few roads that became famous for broken asphalt were repaired less than a week after the quake. A handful of businesses had temporary closures in the week following the quake, but the city’s hotels, major attractions, restaurants and tour companies have returned to normal operations.
Are there aftershocks?
Aftershocks are a natural part of earthquakes. The rate of aftershocks decreases with time. The largest are usually around 1 magnitude smaller than the main quake, and there are more small aftershocks than large ones.
Is the airport open?
Yes, the Anchorage airport resumed normal operations the same day the quake struck.
Was there damage to hotels, attractions, other travel-related businesses?
Some businesses had to deal with cosmetic damage and needed a few days to clean up. In a rare number of cases, broken water pipes or other damage required a longer cleanup. The city’s hotels, attractions, restaurants and tour companies have returned to normal operations.
Can you get from place to place in Anchorage?
Yes. All major roadways have reopened to travel. The streets most impacted by the quake in Anchorage were repaired the same week.
What about roads and transit from Anchorage to other locations?
The Alaska Department of Transportation and local communities have tackled the most pressing closures. While there may be lane closures with ongoing repairs, travelers shouldn’t encounter any disruption to their plans. Repair work is ongoing, but should not affect travel from Anchorage to any other community on the road system.
What about the photos I have seen of broken up roads?
Images of three spots with quake-damaged roads became the iconic photos of the quake. The road at all three locations has been repaired: the Minnesota Drive off ramp, Vine Road outside Wasilla, and the Mirror Lake Area of the Glenn Highway were all repaired within a week of the quake.
Is the Alaska Railroad running?
Yes. The Alaska Railroad spent the week after the quake assessing damage and making necessary repairs. The railroad resumed its regular schedule the week after the quake.
How can I help?
Visit! Tourism is a vital part of the city and state’s economy, and many people rely on travel to keep their companies and their communities running strong.
On a more personal level, The Alaska Disaster Recovery Fund is set up to support organizations handling immediate needs after the quake, and some longer term recovery projects as well. The Alaska Community Foundation is managing the fund.
What should I do if I experience an earthquake?
Though large earthquakes are exceptional and uncommon events, Alaska is far from the only place that contends with them.
If an earthquake occurs, drop, cover, and then hold. Don’t run outside if you are indoors, and pull over if you are driving. For more information on preparedness, visit Ready.gov/earthquakes