Anchorage is set to become the epicenter of an earthquake that will destroy homes and kill hundreds of people.
The powerful quake, which has been named a magnitude 7.3 earthquake and is expected to hit at 12:20 p.m. local time (5:20 a.m., ET), will make its way to Alaska, which is located on the northern edge of the continental shelf.
The epicenter will be in the far northeastern corner of the Aleutian Islands, where the quake is expected.
The region, known as the Alaska-Bering Sea Basin, is an active fault zone.
The U.S. Geological Survey has said that a large earthquake with magnitude 7-8 could cause major damage and widespread power outages, with potential fatalities, injuries and property damage.
In Alaska, the earthquake could bring power outage to hundreds of thousands of people, with at least five reports of severe power outscores across the state.
The Alaska Emergency Management Agency has sent hundreds of volunteers to assist with the response to the earthquake.
There are currently about 3,000 volunteers working in the state’s response to an earthquake of this magnitude, the Alaska Department of Emergency Management said in a statement.
Bill Walker said in an email that he is urging residents to take precautions to protect themselves.
He also encouraged people to report any suspicious activity.
“If you have any information that could be useful to us, please contact us,” Walker said.
“We want to make sure that the citizens of Alaska are safe and protected and that the people of Alaska can have a great Christmas,” Walker added.
Anchorage, Alaska’s second largest city, is located near the southern tip of the state and is home to about 8,000 people.
A total of 1,700 buildings were damaged or destroyed in the quake’s path, according to the Alaska Emergency Response Office.
The National Weather Service said there was a 2.4-magnitude tremor centered about 4 miles (6 kilometers) east of Anchorage.
The magnitude 7 quake was the most powerful recorded in Alaska on Dec. 4, 2016, when a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The largest quake in Alaska occurred on Jan. 14, 2017, when an 8.8-meln magnitude 7 was felt in the city of Anchorage, according the USGS.