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Pinoys safe after Alaska tremor

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday reported that no Filipino was reported injured in the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that rattled Anchorage, Alaska on Friday.

DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato said Saturday the department continues to monitor the situation in Alaska.

The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, which has jurisdiction over Alaska, said it is in close coordination with leaders of the Filipino community in Anchorage and has already requested the Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions for information on the effect of the tremor on Filipinos.

The earthquake struck an area 7.5 miles north of the city about 8:30 a.m. local time on Friday, causing damage to homes and buildings and other infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

A series of aftershocks was recorded following the initial shock, which had a depth of 40.9km, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Consul General Henry Bersurto said the Filipino community accounts for around 52 percent of Alaska’s Asian and Pacific Islander population, making it the largest racial minority in Anchorage.

Around 300,000 people live in Anchorage with 100,000 in the surrounding area. An estimated 25,000 Filipinos are living in Alaska.

While an earlier tsunami alert was canceled, the Filipino community has been advised to brace for more aftershocks and to stay in safe shelters and avoid unnecessary road travel.

Reports said air and rail travel has been disrupted by the quake as well. One of the state’s largest internal airline services has suspended operations until midday but the Anchorage Airport is still open.

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