tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC November 30, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PST
and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports. "follow us online. here's stephanie ruhle for "velshi & ruhle." >> hey there. we have a lot to cover. good morning. excuse me. good afternoon, everyone. my partner ali velshi on assignment. it is friday, november 30th. let's get smarter. president trump in argentina for the g20 meeting but his mind deep into the mueller probe. >> the president's former fixer pleads guilty on a charge of lying to congress about a plan for a trump tower in moscow. the president yesterday as you heard denying he did that at all. >> it has essentially proven that trump lied repeatedly if not under oath 0 the american public throughout the general election campaign and after that. >> i have nothing to do with russia. we are not involved in russia. >> for president trump it seems the deal at the top of the agenda and he's never really
made that separation between campaigning and governing, between business dealings and governing dealings. >> it doesn't really matter whether the deal was done. it matters what was taking place. >> the bottom line here is the man who was representing the united states -- >> this is a battle and battles sometimes make great friendships. it is long and hard. we have taken a lot of barbs. and a little abuse. and we got there. >> the world is sort of -- they don't believe anything he says. >> i don't think people are taking him seriously right now. >> as you can see, very few protesters have started to gather. they're expected to gather more and more. >> we begin with diplomacy and damage control. right now, president trump meeting with world leaders after did g20 summit in buenos aires. with the mueller investigation carrying on at home, and getting bigger and louder by the moment.
we are just hearing that one of those leaders, president trump briefly met with was saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman. you know him as mbs. he announced it moments ago along the prime ministers of india and japan and earlier was asked about that canceled sitdown meeting with russian president vladimir putin. here's what he said. >> ukraine. we don't like what happened. we're not happy about it. nobody is. hopefully they'll be able to settle it out soon because we look forward to meeting with president putin. on the respect of what took place, that was the sole reason. >> and speaking of putin, it's been a day full of photo opportunities. look at this extraordinary video. earlier the russian president shaking hands with saudi prince mohammed bin salman. and look at the -- i mean, that is like a -- i wouldn't say a
bro hug but a secret hand shake and just to remind you, who these men are. it's not like they're frat brothers. putin, a former kgb agent. he's one of if not the richest and most powerful men in the world with an estimated net worth of up to $200 billion. and the crown prince of saudi arabia, bin salman is currently under fire across the globe for accusations about his involvement in the brutal murder of "washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi. hours ago president trump held a friendly meeting with french president macron and this morning signed that new trade deal called the usmca. we got a lot to go through. joining me now nbc's jeff bennett and former undersecretary of state for political affairs ambassador nick burns. jeff, set the stage for us. the russia investigation is casting a huge shadow over the
president's trip to argentina. i can't imagine it's affecting the formal agenda down there but is it talked about? do you feel it? >> reporter: well, you know, a person close to the president said they feel like the questions with the russia investigation undermine it is attempts to do did work of the u.s. here at buenos aires. i'll tell you, also, though, the president had these bilateral meetings. he's tried to project strength in some of these meetings and i can tell you also in just the last 20 minutes or so after a report of saudi-owned al arabia, the president met or had a good meeting with a saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman and set off questions and alarm bells. the white house put out a statement saying that the two men expressed pleasantries as president trump had with other world leaders and then the
president was asked by our colleague and nbc producer about this interaction, the president said we had no discussion, we had no discussion, we might, the president said. he said they hadn't had material discussion yet and suggesting there's no issue to rule out one on one. stephanie? >> ambassador, we just found out that the president exchanged what they're calling pleasantries with saudi crown prince. we obviously know there's huge controversy surrounding him, following the death of jamal khashoggi. what message does it send? >> it sends a message of business as usual. i was, you know, clearly president trump has decided to back mohammed bin salman. i was hoping and i think what a normal president would have done is maybe if he supported him in public read him the riot act in private because mbs has caused huge trouble for the united states in xwlyemen, qatar and jl
khashoggi. for a mature relationship to happen, where the united states is in charge of that relationship where the saudis need us more i would have hoped the president sent that message privately and then somebody on the team to tell the media about that to get the message across he's causing trouble for our democracy and apparently that's not the signal sent. i guess, stephanie, i'm not surprised given it's president trump but it's a sad day. >> then i'll note how does this tie into the robert mueller investigation or at least michael cohen yesterday admitting he lied to congress about president trump's business ties to russia? there are two countries where president trump's foreign policy and behavior seems strange and noteworthy. russia and saudi arabia. two countries where president trump has or at least attempted to have business ties with the trump organization or jared kushner and his family business.
walk us through russia and president trump. right after we saw michael cohen in court yesterday the white house announces that they're canceling the meeting with president trump and vladimir putin. and they say -- they don't say it has nothing to do with the mueller investigation but all about russia, the treatment of ukraine, seizing those three ships and now suddenly today maybe a meeting is happening according to russia but it will be informal. if the united states was unwilling to meet with russia yesterday, because of what they did to the ukraine, what exactly would change today? >> reporter: it's a great question and the white house press secretary put out a statement saying there would be no informal pull aside of president trump and russian president vladimir putin. that, of course, doesn't rule out some sort of impromptu interaction and i do think it was noteworthy after the white house or after president trump issued that tweet scrapping the meeting with vladimir putin the spokesperson for the russian foreign ministry said, oh no, this is nothing to do with
russia's aggressive acts against ukraine and everything to do with the plea agreement of michael cohen and the russians really slapping it right back at president trump as he apparently for the first time tried to brush back vladimir putin canceling this meeting. the president again today said it had only to do with this issue of ukraine and again as we have reported the only significant development of aggressive incident and his decision yesterday to call off that meeting was that plea agreement, steph. >> all right. jeff, ambassador, i'm going do come back to you in a moment. we have breaking news out of alaska. a major earthquake has taken place. the u.s. geological survey detected a 7.0 earthquake just a few minutes ago. i want do bring in nbc's miguel amalguer with the latest. what is going on? >> we are getting early reports of some damage to local buildings. many people fled out of the area into streets. anchorage is the largest city in all of alaska. we know that many people here have felt large -- felt a strong
quake. you are looking at a tsunami warning map issued after the major earthquake in the area, too. we don't have a strong number on significant damage yet, though. some is reported in the area. officials are watching it closely. many first responders on the street trying to survey did damage and getting early reports in of things like tiles falling off of roofs and shelves being cleared of belongings so that's some of the early reporting, stephanie. this quake was struck very close to anchorage, seven miles away and felt across the most populated city in all of that state. >> seven miles away but it went in the center of the city. can you give us a better idea of the landscape there? >> well, it is very -- alaska, much of it is very rural and remote but anchorage is a significantly built-up city. there's not many businesses in the outer area around anchorage but it's a very populated city.
again, the mostn there several and i can tell you that it's spread out and has a downtown populated area where people are at, especially this time of the day. >> 7.0, that is a big number. i know we don't know the extent of damage thus far, but do we have any idea? have we seen any images? >> there's early images across social media right now. the local newspaper there is reporting that tiles fell off of the ceiling. we have seen images inside grocery stores we see of items, jars and food all over the floor. we haven't seen any structural damage yet. there are reports that many of the buildings swaying in the area and people took cover understood desks and many ran out to the streets and told at least one aftershock is felt in the area. those are all part of the early reports coming in, stephanie. >> i realize 7.0, that magnitude isn't common anywhere but how common is this activity in
anchorage? >> it is an earthquake area. they're prone to earthquakes in the area and not uncommon to get earthquakes. we have alerts of 3.1, 3.2 felt across the area. but this is absolutely a big tremor felt across a large swath of the region and why that tsunami alert you are looking at is put out. they have not had reports of a tsunami yet and always a concern, especially in alaska. anchorage is on an inlet close to the water. so that's a concern they're watching right now, as well. >> all right. miguel, i'm going to check back with you in a few. as soon as you have more developments or updates, flag us. we need to keep the audience aware. i want do go back do ambassador burns and jeff bennett. are you there, ambassador? >> yes, i am. >> so, i want to go back to the conversation about president trump and the upcoming meetings at the g20. just yesterday when the white house decided to cancel the meeting between the president and vladimir putin, you saw
republicans like graham come out and say, we need to take this strong stance against russia. that is very good move. i'm happy about it. what happens, what message does this send to the united states, to president trump's fellow republicans in government, if, sure, maybe not a formal sitdown and even a pull aside, a chat one another up, you're achieving the same thing you would have had you done a sitdown? >> well, i think you're right, stephanie. the whole okay tech chur of tar g20 meetings is the leaders are together for hours. at dinner, at breakfast. there's plenty of time for president trump to meet vladimir putin or mohammed bin salman or any other leader there, and i think you're right to suggest we had to send a tough message to putin with the illegal activities in blocking the kerch straits and obviously annexing
crimea years ago and i think the president diluted that by agreeing to a meeting. if the president used that meeting to deliver a tough message to vladimir putin, if you continue with the activities, there will be further sanctions. the language of the president you ran earlier was on the one hand, on the other hand. almost blaming both sides. that's a mistake. he is not standing up to vladimir putin. it's been a consistent problem since the beginning of the president's time in office. >> jeff, stay on that. because that's where my confusion lies . if the argument is we won't sit down with vladimir putin because of the treatment of ukraine, is the white house now saying they no longer want to send that message? because if the two presidents meet, it's irrelevant if it's standing, sitting or a pull aside. they will be communicating and the argument that we're not going to do that kind of flies out the window.
so what about the lindsay grahams of the world say? >> reporter: yeah. the way you read that i think is correct in that the president seems to be forfeiting any opportunity to hold vladimir putin's feet to the fire although it's not clear he would do that given the opportunity given did cozy performance when he was standing alongside the russian president back in helsinki. it would appear to many that the administration is trying to cover up for the fact that as we now know the trump organization had deep business ties to russia, well into president trump's run for president, and that that deal remained active even as the russians were trying to make inroads into the campaign. now, the court documents, the michael cohen plea agreement, does not speak to collusion but as you well know it lays out the conduit. it lays out the levers that the russian officials could push to get whatever they wanted from the trump campaign and why the abrupt cancelation, the president says i need to read
the report of what happened with the seizure by the russians of the ukrainian ships. if you take into account what he told "the washington post" today prior, he would have had that report tuesday night and doesn't square. that's why the president's comments today saying ukraine was the only reason i called offer thoff that meeting seems off the mark. >> as a nation we are insistent for leaders to divest themselves from their business ties and put forward their tax returns so it can be absolutely crystal clear that they do not have conflicts of interest and they're not beholden to a company or foreign government. thank you so much. i want to stay on g20 and go to nbc's richard engel live in buenos aires where a massive protest march is getting under way just a few miles away from the summit. richard, give us an update. >> reporter: so the protesters have just started their march toward the g20 site. see them moving along here.
they're from a variety of groups but they have one particular world leader in their crosshairs. one particular world leader they don't like. i think you can guess who that might be. fuera trump. we have seen his name on posters, placards in this downtown area. now these protests are not that large at this stage. they're only a few thousand people here. they're marching toward the g20. there is a big security presence about 22,000 security have been brought in to not only secure the lo kaegs itself, the conference center where the g20 leaders are meeting but really to lock down the city. it is very difficult for common str stray -- demonstrators to get here. it's been very hard for the protesters to gather. but those who are here are now starting to march.
they're going to march toward the location of the g20. about one mile from here. there is a police barricade set up that's probably where they will be stopped. and we'll see at that stage if the protesters disperse peacefully or clashes. >> who are they? where are they from? >> reporter: well, they're from 70 different groups. they're mostly anti-capitalist groups, left wing groups. the ones whose posters i showed you are from the socialist left. they're people who oppose the capitalist system around the world. and they have come together for -- with a variety of grievances and generally it's for workers' rights, rights of the underprivileged. >> richard, all right. please, please stay safe where you are and thank you for keeping us up. we'll continue to follow the breaking news story out of alaska where a massive
earthquake has rocked anchorage. a magnitude 7.0. several aftershocks have been felt. we're going to bring you much more as soon as we get it. right there you can see a grocery store. this is a scene you have seen before in an earthquake. lots of items fallen off the shelves. we'll get more images as they come through. seven miles outside the heart of anchorage. mexico just gave an important word to senior presidential adviser and son-in-law to president trump, jared kushner. earlier mexico's president awarded kushner with the order of the aztec eagle, the highest honor mexico gives foreigners. he said he mononorred him for the work on the new trade agreement of mexico, the u.s. and canada that was signed earlier today. people call it nafta 2.0. even though bob lighthouser was the front man, many say jared
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click, call or visit a store today. welcome back to "velshi & ruhle." we are continuing on our breaking news story. the massive earthquake that struck alaska. a magnitude 7.0. several aftershocks are being reported. residents in fairbanks, alaska, more than 350 miles from the epicenter said they, too, felt the shaking. joining me now on the phone from
california, seismologist lucy jones. lucy, first of all, for people in alaska, what should people there expect in the immediate aftermath? >> aftershocks. that is magnitude 7.0 so we expect the largest aftershock to be close to magnitude 6 and in fact larger than that. they had a 5.8 and should expect to feel things. for the people relatively near to the earthquake, right? so fairbanks may have felt it and then the shaking's pretty extreme. it's intensity eight. that's a description of shaking level. the shaking here is basely like what would have been experienced in 1989 in the loma earthquake in san francisco and this is even closer to anchorage than that or quite close to san francisco. >> what should people do right now who are in alaska? >> just be aware. 5% of the time the aftershock
can get bigger than the main shock so there is a potential that an even bigger earthquake could happen. 95% chance it won't but you need to be aware of it. after the aftershocks continue, you have all of broken things on the ground, things to be picked up. be careful as you're doing that because it could continue to shake while you're engaged in trying to pick things up. >> how about a threat of tsunami? >> very unlikely from this situation. a magnitude seven is a large fault but it's not -- usually you get tsunamis at much larger events. there could be something very local right around cooks inlet but if they haven't gotten it already there wouldn't be anything more. >> why did this happen here? >> okay, so. alaska's the most active part of the united states. the pacific ocean is actually on the long-term moving down underneath alaska. that's why we have magnitude 9s like in 1964 along the ocean
front but because that great compression is continuing to go on, then behind that fault further north there's a lot of smaller faults that handle things getting redistributed and this is one of the faults on the backside of the subduction zone but the earth is active with big pieces of it moving around and the pa sick ocean under alaska is one of the biggest pieces of that plate tectonic stance. >> lucy, thank you so much for joining me today and helping us understand this. an earthquake that hit alaska in the last several hours, magnitude 7.0. we'll keep you on this breaking news story throughout the hour. but now, let's take a turn from alaska to argentina where the president is right now but his mind isn't necessarily there. his mind, especially according to his tweets, are in washington. as he's fired off tweets from the g20 summit again slamming the special counsel
investigation as a witch hunt. but robert mueller and the team remain focused and i'm going to say unfazed and leaving the door open to more charges against former trump campaign chairman paul manafort. at a conference hearing with the d.c. judge today setting a judge for the official sentencing. while in new york mueller's latest cooperating witness the president's former personal attorney michael cohen he went about his day, not responding to his old boss calling him weak and not very smart. but michael cohen's cooperation with the special counsel helps fill in a whole lot more of the 2016 timeline showing more contact between trump affiliated people and guess who. vladimir putin's underlings. buckle up with me. this is going to be a lot but it's important. so stick with us as i walk you through the timeline. in january of 2016, michael cohen, president trump's fixer and personal attorney, e-mailed vladimir putin's press secretary
looking for help to start the trump tower moscow project. they played e-mail tag and then they got in touch. a week after cohen first reached out, felix sader calling saying it's about putin. they called today. and then march george papadopoulos he met with a professor about russian government connections and then russian hackers stole hillary clinton campaign chairman john podesta's e-mails and days later after that papadopoulos met trump and jeff sessions and he suggested reaching out to guess who. vladimir putin. and then in april of 2016, jeff sessions met with the russian ambassador, a meeting he would neglect to later mention in a senate hearing. a few days later, russian lawmaker torshin met donald trump jr. at an nra dinner in
kentucky. may 19th, paul manafort became the campaign of the truchair of campaign and then they met with russians in the infamous trump tower meeting. you know, the one with a promise to get dirt on hillary clinton. and as that meeting was being set up, sater and cohen at the same time were busy chatting up putin's press secretary and discussing travel dates until just after that meeting when cohen met sater in the lobby of trump tower saying he could not go to russian and then offering an oligarch quote private briefings on the campaign in july and two weeks later jeff sessions, carter page and other trump officials met with the russian ambassador at the republican national convention just before the republican party platform was changed to weaken
the u.s.'s stance on russia's annexation of crimea. remember, the sanctions the united states put on russia after crimea was annexed crippled their economy and their economy remains stressed and under duress since those sanctions were put in place. putin, he wanted them lifted. donald trump, of course, then won the republican nomination. joining me now former u.s. attorney joyce vance and reporter tom winter. all right, tom. we have more of a timeline but what else did we get from yesterday's filing and president trump's response? because the thing i don't get is president trump is calling michael cohen a weak, liar and a loser but rudy giuliani, trump's attorney, is saying that trump's written answers match cohen's answers. so which is it? he is a liar and a loser or they're in lock zsstep? >> that's what i'm trying to understand for 24 hours.
if you say somebody's a liar and same point you say, well, okay, but my answers match what he is now saying, does that mean all along the president actually said, well no, we continued the conversations? is this what he's told his attorneys and is this what he told the special counsel's office which is, yeah, hey, we had the conversations of june 2016? i think the other thing that did not come out in the court paper work yesterday is when michael cohen had these additional conversations besides the three that he had with donald trump. we know that there were additional conversations. that's what michael cohen pled guilty to. we don't know when they were and we don't know how many additional conversations that we had. so, you know, sometimes we can learn a lot from court documents or what is that's not them. what details are missing? that's an an important thing to start paying attention to but it really is a question of this point you have a president who said i have nothing to do with russia and now you have him tweeting this morning, well, i
lightly discussed a deal. you are starting to see inconsistencies as it relates to the moscow project, not only by michael cohen. he pled guilty to that. but the president making the statement he did on twitter today. >> a conversation light. a deal with less calories. i'm assuming. joyce, the president is employing the classic punch back strategy calling the accuser i guess you would say a liar, insisting that trump himself was not hiding anything and then the third leg, even if i was hiding something, it's legal so i'm allowed to do it. so, the president is very comfortable doing things that are unusual, maybe unethical. if it's illegal, that's where the problem is. do you see anything here touching illegality? >> there's a lot of potential illegality here. probably the biggest chunk would be if there's an issue with this story that we heard last night that there had been a promise of a $50 million penthouse to putin
if the project went forward but there are a lot of ifs surrounding that. the devil is always in the details. there's a law in this country, the foreign corrupt practices act, that makes it illegal to pay a bribe to someone in a foreign country to -- >> what if -- since the deal never happened, there is no trump tower moscow, will that constitute anything? >> sure. and that's the kind of questions that prosecutors walk through because it can also be illegal to enter into a skir conspiracy you don't do and illegal to make an attempt in certain circumstances and the foreign corrupt practices act has a provision like that. this is all very complicated and murky for us right now but i thought tom really said something important. we often learn as much from what's not in pleadings as from what's in them. what i learned yesterday is that bob mueller has a complete deck of cards.
he is laying them down as he needs them. there's a lot left in his hand that we don't know about yet. >> we haven't talked about roger stone in a few days. where does he fit into this? >> as far as specifically with michael cohen in federal court yesterday, he doesn't quite get into those proceedings but i think you bring up a really good point because for the last several days we have been kind of hot and heavy on roger stone, his associates. we have been talking about these people that seem to have either the most incredible luck in the world and to have seen these wikileaks coming and to see that john podesta's e-mails were hacked or they had a foreknowledge. we don't have all the evidence that obviously federal prosecutors and investigators likely have but this is something to hear more about. why? because it's the one few things that robert mueller has not addressed in the indictments so far. he addressed the hacking, the
troll farms and any sort of ideas of wikileaks is on the periphery and the mandate is the russian interference and the election. you have hillary clinton's campaign chairman e-mails leaked and on wikileaks and according to the indictments those were taken by the russians. we have to check that box from the stand point of learning information about it that speaks to robert mueller's mandate so i suspect we'll hear more in the coming weeks and perhaps months as far as who are these guys, what might they have actually known, did anybody tell them about the hacks, that wikileaks had the information and then the most important question as it relates ultimately to the question of collusion, cooperation, conspiracy, whatever you want to call it is, did these guys tell somebody in the trump campaign, hey, podesta's e-mails were hacked, wikileaks has got them and is
there any then further discussion as far as, hey, we need to release them at a certain point because it was within hours of the infamous "access hollywood" tape of the president discussing a potential sexual assault that the e-mails were on wikileaks, started to appear on wikileaks. i think that's -- those are the two real key questions. was there any further discussion from there? that's something we have to watch closely in the coming days and weeks. >> joyce, quickly, we are talking a lot about paul manafort and his sentencing. this week when his plea deal blew up because we learned he and his team had been sharing information with rudy giuliani, could that prove out to be while risky a clever move from manafort? we knew robert mueller was going to move forward to make sure paul manafort was in jail for quite some time but giving the president assistance and information he has, is he
clearing the path for president trump to pardon him? it was no accident that trump did an interview with "the new york post" owned by rupert murdoch and wink-wink, nod-nod says i could be open to a pardon. that's the best news paul manafort has heard in months! >> it's also the worst nows paul manafort's ever heard because if, in fact, what turns out is that there's evidence that the president has used a pardon to make paul manafort unavailable as a witness to the government after he signed up and the government learned that he was in possession of relevant information, then we're looking at a witness tampering situation and everybody involved maybe with the exception of the president is going to jail. >> oh heavens. this story's getting more and more complicated. joyce, tom, thank you so much. we're lucky to have you both here to help us understand it. now an update on the breaking news story we have been covering throughout the hour. the magnitude 7.0 earthquake
that struck alaska. a tsunami warning for parts of the alaskan coast is issued. it is telling people to move themselves to higher ground. power is out in the city and there are reports of damage to highways and roads. we're going to give you an update when we come back next. right there you are looking at an anchorage grocery store. you have seen this scene before in other earthquakes. a number of items, 7.0. tiles off the roofs of buildings. that is very big deal. we'll stay on this story when we come back. you're watching "velshi & ruhle." we saved hundreds on our car insurance when we switched to geico. this is how it made me feel. it was like that feeling when you're mowing the lawn on a sunny day... ...and without even trying, you end up with one last strip that's exactly the width of your mower.
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. we're continuing to cover the breaking news, the magnitude 7.0 earthquake which struck near anchorage, alaska, today. aftershocks have been reported as far as 350 miles outside anchorage. there's now a tsunami warning for parts of the alaskan coast telling people in those areas that they need to move to higher ground. i want to turn now to my colleague erica grow, a meteorologist at wnbc. erica, what is the immediate concern for people in the anchorage area and outside? i mean, the fact there are aftershocks as far as 350 miles away, holy cow. >> yeah.
i mean, well, this is a very vulnerable fault line. the epicenter right here just across the water from anchorage, that is area which you may have heard of called the ring of fire. when i expand this image, i'll be able to show you better. all around the periphery of the pacific ocean there's fault lines, areas vulnerable to earthquakes and therefore tsunamis, of course, because you have all this water that's open and available for the ocean to travel those waves without anything getting in the way. notice the travel times, nine hours. you're just outside of san francisco. for that possible tsunami. 12 hours you're getting further to the south toward mexico. again, here's the epicenter. this was a very strong earthquake. not only that but it was also very shadow and that's why the shaking was so prevalent. steph, you asked about the immediate concerns right now. it's not just for structures. vulnerable structures that aren't earthquake safe, also for
power outages, broken gas lines if their gas heat up there. there could be a lot of disruptions with this. there was a roadway that's severed by the shaking of the quake, right? there are going to be roads that could be impassable and blocked for those reasons, as well. >> for people in that tsunami warning zone, when it's just move yourself to higher ground, what's that even look like? >> well, i mean, the terrain does get very mountainous outside of the city of anchorage. so that might be easier said than done. hopefully people are aware that live in the area that they're in an earthquake vulnerable zone. it's been a long time since there's been a bad earthquake in the area. but hopefully people are aware of their risk and have an action plan to evacuate. again, though, because of the potential for roads being completely impassable or closed, because of the possibility that they've been damaged we could
have evacuation routes impassable right now. that's something that we just don't know right now. >> also risk of a landslide. the weather forecast says it could rain tonight. how's that going to affect things? >> landslides happen when you have bare earth getting a heavy downpour. you get the mud, water just pouring down so that could obviously add added concerns for areas that were damaged by the earthquake, a landslide could cause all kind of debris, natural and also remnants of buildings, even cars can get caught up in that and then become missiles heading in the direction of the water. >> would people have been forewarned in any way that this was coming? >> that's tough to say, steph, because it is not the same as a weather forecast. tsunamis can be forecast once an earthquake happens. but earthquakes are forecast more in the sense of it's way more probable that it's going to
happen within a certain given amount of time rather than this could happen on any day, any time. people say earthquakes are unpredibunpr unpredictable. the means is harder. we can say a certain area is more vulnerable to see an earthquake within a year or within a month. but that's not the same thing as getting a weather forecast to prep -- make preparations for. >> given the possible risks now, tsunami, landslide, aftershock issues, for people in the area, what are they supposed to do knowing that you have road closures? we just spoke about a highway i looked at that's completely severed. if people are home and safe, is that where they should stay? >> well, that's relative to the -- >> what your home looks like, i guess. >> relative to the structure of the building that they're in. if your building has been damaged at all by the earthquake, then, of course, you need to get out. and there is still the threat for aftershocks.
so that is something that could go on for days and a known problem in the past as that aftershocks can continue for days on end when you have a large earthquake. vulnerable structures are more likely to then collapse when you have aftershocks. if you live in a building that is earthquake secure there are building codes that have been put in in the past few decades that help to mitigate against the damage that you could get from earthquakes. i'm sure that a lot of local governments have safe places and shelters. hopefully people can get to them because of the potential of road closures. >> stay with us. i want to bring miguel amalguer back who's in san francisco with the latest. we know this thing is a 7.0. we know that the aftershocks have been felt as far as 350 miles away. now there are warnings about possible landslides due to
weather forecasts of rain and tsunamis. what else can you tell us? >> well, we know first responders at this hour are still trying to get their arms around the damage that's been caused here. we are getting some new images in from people that live in the area that show roads that have collapsed. we have seen homes that have had some structural problems. we have also seen as you can see here a typical image inside a grocery store with items all over the floors. we saw a picture inside a local newsroom. it looked like a bomb had gone off in the area. this was certainly a very significant event. lights are off of the ceiling and tiles are hanging down. so those first responders at this hour all firefighters, all police are out on the streets to assess the damage. also reports of several fires in the area so crews are certainly trying to get to those as quickly as possible but as you mentioned the roads here are a major issue. if any of them are impassable, it will delay the response of firefighter who is are also concerned about those aftershocks. this is an area that's known for
seismic activity and seeing an earthquake is not unusual. something of this size, though, certainly is. it's going to rattle the region here. many people in the area had reported feeling that strong jolt and now many people are reporting aftershocks across the area so that's a concern. every home will need to be inspected by the homeowner. all of the buildings by government officials and that is what's happening right now. but again, the first and foremost thing that first responders are trying to do is assess the damage, get people to safety and as they brace for more aftershocks. >> that won't be easy. stay there. i want to pull in an image of a road in anchorage. can you see that on your screen? this is a highway that is basically completely torn up, chewed up. it is unclear base and the image if we know of cars that had been on the road that might be under a portion of this. if you are a firefighter, a team
that needs to get to the other side of that road, it is absolutely impossible. there's no way to pass that. this is just one specific road. we have already seen a number of other images not of that road but in the area. when you look at damage like this, erica, i mean, it is stunning. >> it is and another thing i'd like to point out is that it is the middle of winter just about. and that means that the sun angle is extremely low in this part of alaska even in southern alaska. you are getting minimal daylight at this point. so that means that it's going to get dark which makes it's harder to see road impediments, areas flooded because of the damage and the aftershocks producing those waves. and when you have power outages, of course, that becomes an even bigger concern. the sun sets very, very early this time of year. here in new york it's before 5:00 so we're probably already looking at sunset in alaska within the next hour or two. >> i mean, imagine that. people losing their power.
look at this right now. we have brand new pictures from affiliates in alaska. we'll try to zoom in there. you can see another complete break in the in the road. if you have entire communities without power and a place like alaska with minimal light given how cold it is, this is very serious. i want to bring in to the conversation of erica and i, mike engel. walk us through the areas of tsunami concern and if people are in those areas what do they need to do. alaska, especially this coast. this isn't easy terrain. >> this is a bit of an unusual event as far as the tsunami. it's a larger earthquake. magnitude 7.
the problem you get into with the strong shaking in that part of alaska is the inlet is there a history of land slides. they can fall into the water and create displacement of their owns. >> what does that mean displacements of their own? >> in other words, if a side that's coming into a body of water and the landfalls in there, it will move all that water that it just slid into. the water has to go somewhere. it starts running around. it's not this big ocean propagating thing that we would have to worry about it. it's localized. that's why we put the warning up. we're closely watching our water
level instruments in and around the cook inlet and when the warning center is confident that they haven't seen any yet and haven't seen the water levels come up, it will be longer before we can cancel the warnings. >> even though it's localized and people have the warning, what do they do if you're in that area? >> there is emergency alert systems and there's a local response effort. i know there's like you mentioned they are trying to get their arms around it. i would say broadly if you're in one of those areas, get to higher ground. just kind of wait until we know there isn't this phenomenon going around. i got to believe they are getting around and getting the
message out. >> even though the area is prone to this type of seismic activity, 7.0 is a big number. >> it's a big number. yeah anywhere is, it's alaska. you have the 64 event up there which is still the largest recorded in history which is bigger than this. seven is big. not surprised to hear the damage reports. we're watching closely on the water levels so we make sure we keep people safe and we'll pull that warning down once we're sure there's not more to come. >> we're only seeing very early images. mike, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and for working on this. i want to bring in richard briggs.
how significant is this? >> this is a big earthquake. it's the kind that alaska has seen in the past but hasn't seen for quite a while. >> so why now ? >> it's part of the cycle that happens. in this case this is the slab, we call it. the piece of the pacific plate that's dropping down beneath alaska. as the plate drops into the earth, it stretches and bends. early indications here are that this is from stretching and bending and tearing apart of that plate at about 25 miles depth. >> you have something like this hit. we know the aftershocks have been felt as far as 350 miles away. how much worse do you think this can get in the next several hours? >> there's an official earthquake forecast that has just been put up.
i'm going to defer to that. there's a four percent chance of aftershocks larger than magnitude 7. those are the numbers in now. there's a 96% this is the main shock and there will be nothing bigger. sg walk me through how the forecast works. you get it after the initial shock to see what the aftermath will be. >> you need the shocks to try to predict the aftershock. once there's a big event there's modelling we can use to help understand how what the probability is of a big one. the way the aftershocks will tail off rather than reporting they are feeling the
aftershocks. i think the largest one has been magnitude 5.8. typical sequences will see a tailing off with time. that doesn't mean there can't be another large event later. >> even though this area is prone to earthquakes, there could have been no forecast, no predictions before this hit earlier today. >> no prediction but a forecast. we have a krystal ball but it's cloudy. we know this is part of the world where big earthquakes happen and happen frequently and we know from the techtonic setting this is the kind of place that expects big earthquakes and they are used to this kind of thing but as far as the exact time, place and size, that's something that's still alludes us. >> for anyone even if they are accustomed to it, if they are driving down their highway and it's severed and smashed, no one
is prepared for that. give us a sense of what it's like there. we have the power in the middle of the day. for those in alaska what the conditions are like. >> it's hard to imagine unless you liverd through it. when you have a sudden shaking, it feels like it's lasting forever but in reality it's only a minute or two at the very longest. then things start to come off the shelves. one of your earlier guests mentioned the devastating earthquake that happened in 1964. a lot of new codes were put in place. a lot of new structural guidelines were put in place to prevent the levels of damage that have happened. >> we're going to pull ktva
which is the local america in anchorage is doing a live broadcast from inside their news room. we showed you images a few minutes ago. not completely destroyed but heavily damaged. we're going to pipe that in right now. >> see these desks here, completely intact. safe. this is our conference room. this is a huge heavy credenza desk that's fallen down. see this table, completely intact. when we say to stop, drop and hold on, these are the places you want to be. use this as a reminder should you find yourself in a situation like this. look at this hallway. >> these are all of our awards. they were up on the wall. not one is left. they are all on the ground.
there's another one of those doors. >> if you're standing somewhere, you need to get to a place to get shelter. all of these pictures, any one of those could have fallen on your head. even these little tables. doesn't look big but even under here you would have been protected from what was falling here. >> these images amazing. if you're not sure what you're watching, that's a local broadcast. ktva in anchorage, alaska. that news room clearly damaged earlier today from the 7.0 earthquake that hit the anchorage area earlier. that earthquake, the aftershocks are now being felt as far as 350 miles away. on the coast of alaska in certain areas there's now a warning for possible tsunamis
with residents there being instructed to move inland to some higher ground. we're going to keep you up on this story. that's taking place in anchorage alaska where the earthquake hit earlier today. i'm now going to hand you off to katie tur who is down in washington, d.c. we're going to continue to follow this story. a 7.0 earthquake on the richter scale hitting seven miles north of anchorage, alaska. as we can see from the damage it doesn't look so good up there. the shaking lasted for 20 to 30 seconds. that could be a not quite that long. it feels like it's stronger while you're in the middle of it. a magnitude 7.0 earthquake has caused significant
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