The largest city in Alaska woke up to a horrifying and devastating 7.0 earthquake ... swaying buildings, buckling roads and knocking down telephone towers.
The powerful earthquake struck Anchorage around 8:30 AM local time -- and the aftershocks were nearly as powerful. People reportedly started going back inside buildings after the first quake rocked, only to send them running back outside when a 5.8 aftershock hit.
Immediately following the shaking, the National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning for the southern Alaska coastal area. Residents had been instructed to head to higher ground but the warning was later called off.
Heather Hintze, a reporter at KTVA, was inside the Nesbett Courthouse when the building started shaking. It's terrifying to watch ... the terror easily lasts over a minute long.
This is what happened on the 6th floor of the Nesbett Courthouse during the Anchorage #earthquake. Both attorneys jumped under their desks. Evacuated the building after the shaking stopped. pic.twitter.com/dqHGPCv6XO
Scary fact ... Alaska -- vulnerable to large earthquakes because of tectonic plates sliding past each other under the region -- has the strongest recorded earthquake in U.S. history with a magnitude 9.2 quake.