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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When the devastating 7.0 earthquake struck Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday, a Pittsburgh native experienced the shaking and destruction for herself.
“Things started falling off the walls and off the shelves, and it makes you nauseous. It’s like you get seasick, because it’s shaking so hard,” said Laura Grant, a Pittsburgh native.
Grant grew up in Squirrel Hill, but has raised her own family in Anchorage. On Friday morning, after dropping her kids off at school, she and her husband took cover when the first of two earthquakes hit.
“You just stay under the table and wait until it stops. It just took longer than usual this time,” said Grant.
- RELATED LINK: CBS News Coverage of the Alaska Earthquake
The quakes were followed by a tsunami warning, so after checking on her neighbors, Grant got her kids and the children of her friends, and took them to higher ground.
The saw and learned more about the devastation along the way.
“The roads are cracked, some bridges are compromised, like overpasses and stuff. I’ve heard, different friends are texting that on-ramps and off-ramps are split apart. I haven’t heard that anyone died or anything like that, just super bad traffic,” Grant said.
She said evidence of the quake is visible from her home.
“I want to show you this quick before the connection dies,” she said on a FaceTime call with KDKA. “To the lagoon, it’s like the lake near our house, you see those cracks in the ice? That from the earthquake. I thought that would be cool to show you.”
Earthquakes are common in Alaska, and Grant says families like her own are always prepared to spring into action.
“You have to be aware that it will happen, and you have to be ready,” she said. “We’re very prepared for earthquakes. We have earthquake kits. We have stuff in the car all the time. We have boots ready to grab, we have food, we have water.”
But this is one of the most severe earthquakes in the state’s history. While her own home seems not to be badly damaged, Grant says she know that much of Anchorage will needs hundreds of millions of dollars to be rebuilt, and she wouldn’t wish the same on her hometown.
“I hope you guys have no earthquakes and no exciting events happening in Pittsburgh,” she said.