The Ground Was Shaking In Alaska

As a native Californian, I’ve experienced my share of earthquakes over the years, and many Alaskans are used to the ground shaking in their fault-heavy state. So by all accounts most of the state is taking in stride the massive 7.9 earthquake that was centered off the coast of Kodiak Island early Tuesday morning.

The quake also created since canceled tsumani warnings for the Alaskan coast and much of the Pacific Northwest and California.

Here’s the Anchorage Daily News with more:

The quake woke people up in Anchorage, more than 350 miles from the epicenter, and was felt throughout the southern half of the state, as far away as Fairbanks.

One Kodiak man, Eric Cusson, said hundreds of people drove up Pillar Mountain, the site of the town’s utility-scale wind turbines.

“Pretty much everyone in town went up Pillar Mountain,” he said.

One of Cusson’s friends said the Coast Guard appeared to have evacuated all the aircraft from their local base, which is on the waterfront.

“She saw all the C-130s and all the helicopters take off,” he said.

On Kodiak, people also evacuated to the high school and the Walmart and Safeway parking lots.

Jared Griffin lives about a block from the water in the city of Kodiak. The tsunami sirens woke him up. In his 11 years living in town, this had never happened.

He said he woke his wife up. Then they both got tsunami alerts on their cellphones. They decided to wake up their three children and evacuate to the home of their in-laws on higher ground.

“It’s so dark and where we are, we’re behind some high ground, so we’re fine but we really can’t see anything,” he said. “We’ve been trying to pull up some of the harbor cams but even there, they’re really dark. You can’t tell if the surf is receding or anything.”

A man in the Kodiak community of Ouzinkie had more than 3,500 viewers watching his Facebook live stream from his vehicle in the dark above the waterfront as he listened to the radio and offered occasional commentary.

Our correspondents Bixler and Krystin McClure of Seward Ocean Excursions felt the quake in their Seward home. But like most in the state near the water, the biggest concern was about the possibility of tsunami waves crashing into the vast Alaskan coastline. The McClures’ boat, the Missing Lynx – named for their infant son and used both for work and pleasure – was of their utmost concern after the shaking stopped.

Krystin and Bixler McClure’s boat, the Missing Lynx.

“Yep, it shook pretty good at our house; lasted a long time too,” Bixler McClure said via email. “Was worried about the boat when the sirens etc. went off, but after the time passed and nothing happened we felt relieved.”

Here’s some other reactions to the early-morning wakeup call: