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The Latest: US declares health emergency to aid Alaska

This photo provided by Chris Riekena shows excavation work being conducted Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, near the Mirror Lake exit of the Glenn Highway near Eklutna, Alaska, to make the highway ready for repaving. The highway was heavily damaged in several spots following a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Nov. 30, 2018. (Chris Riekena via AP)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on the Alaska earthquake (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Federal officials have declared a public health emergency in Alaska following the powerful earthquake.

No outbreaks of disease or other major health problems have been reported.

Instead, health officials say Monday’s action will ensure that Medicaid funds continue to be issued despite the temporary closure of offices.

Federal mental health assistance also is available for people feeling stressed out by the disaster.

No deaths or serious injuries were reported from the 7.0 temblor that struck Friday north of Anchorage.

The health declaration was made by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and aims to provide greater flexibility for federal officials in providing health aid.

President Donald Trump previously declared an emergency in the state.

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9:45 a.m.

The federal courthouse in Anchorage remains without heat and closed Monday, days after the powerful earthquake rocked a wide swath of Alaska.

Officials announced the U.S. District Court and attached federal building in Anchorage will be closed at least through Thursday following a preliminary evaluation by the General Services Administration.

The 7.0 earthquake that struck Friday 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of Anchorage rattled buildings, disrupted power and caused heavy damage to the only highway that goes north of the city.

Hundreds of aftershocks since have frayed the nerves of quake-weary Alaskans.

GSA spokesman Chad Hutson said Monday boilers in the federal building are leaking, leaving it without heat.

The nearby Historic Federal Building, where the bankruptcy court is located, also is closed. Officials say it is ready for reopening once minor cleanup is complete.

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12 a.m.

The supply chain of food and other goods delivered to the Port of Anchorage from the Lower 48 has not been disrupted by the powerful earthquake that caused widespread damage to roads in the Anchorage area.

“The ships are coming in on schedule, the supply lines are at this point uninterrupted,” Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said Sunday at a news conference.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake rattled the state’s largest city early Friday morning swaying buildings and fraying nerves. There were no reports of deaths, serious injuries or structural damage to buildings.

Roads, however, took the brunt of the damage, especially the scenic Glenn Highway, the closest thing Alaska has to an interstate and links the state’s largest city to suburban communities to the north.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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