05 January 2013

Shaking things up a little

At 11:58pm (1 hour ago), a 7.7 earthquake hit about 110 miles SE of Sitka at a depth of 3 miles. Stephen and I felt all of it and we started preparing for the inevitable journey to higher ground. The kids were fast asleep, the dog nervous, and we were just working as quickly as possible to make sure we had the most basic essentials to pack into the car. When the tsunami sirens could finally be heard, we moved the kids, the dog, and several hastily packed bags into the car and headed to the Sitka High School parking lot. We've been sitting here ever since, trying to listen for any further news on the situation. The initial tsunami was predicted to hit at 12:45am, but as you can see, that time has passed and we're still waiting to hear if Sitka has or will sustain any damage.

The size of the earthquake has been downgraded to 7.5, but the tsunami warning is still in effect. Port Alexander has seen 6" waves so far. At least three aftershocks have been felt between 1:10-1:35am, each at a strength of 4.15-4.8.

Cars are leaving the parking lot now, but we haven't seen or heard any changes on the warning.

ALL CLEAR. Traffic is nuts and the kids are begging for their beds. I'm missing my pillow too. I'm glad this didn't end up being bigger than it was and that everyone is safe.

A tsunami wave of 0.3 feet was recorded for Sitka, which is relatively insignificant. We are home now and I'm going to try to unwind and get some sleep. This was a very positive experience. It showed us that we are able to stay level-headed during an emergency, but also that we, as a family, need to review our preparedness for all of our emergency procedures. I imagine tonight's event may bring about talks of fire safety, among other things, which is good.


  1. glad I checked my email...I just read about the quake and my first thought was of you guys. good to hear all is well. get some sleep. hopefully the aftershocks are minor.

  2. So glad you are safe and home together!
    Thank you for letting us know.