Drivers escape danger as off-ramp crumbles after Anchorage earthquake

The Minnesota Dr. airport off-ramp buckled by an earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska, on Nov. 30, 2018. (Photo by Nat Herz/Alaska's Energy Desk)
The Minnesota Drive airport off-ramp buckled after an earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska, on Nov. 30, 2018. (Photo by Nat Herz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

One of the most striking scenes from this morning’s earthquake in Anchorage is a photo of a car sunk seven feet down in a crevasse that opened up on a Minnesota Drive exit ramp.

Chris Riekena watched it happen. He was driving northbound on Minnesota just behind that car. His own vehicle started moving oddly in the quake, so he pulled over, thinking he had a flat tire.

“I mean, it’s amazing the chunk that they’re on. Like the little island of asphalt there on. Everything else is demolished,” he said. “And then I watched the car in front of us start to sink as the road pushed out to the left.”

Riekena said the exit ramp onto International Airport Road seemed to slump away. He was trying to keep his 7-year-old calm, but every time he looked up, the car ahead had sunk more. Riekena says the driver seemed unharmed and police were soon on the scene.

“And I think they just climbed out and I believe the guy went on his trip,” Riekena said. “He was headed to the airport, so…”

Alaska Department of Transportation is reporting road damage throughout town, on the Seward Highway and the Glenn Highway. Many traffic lights are out as well.

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