Local News

Quake rocks Southeast, no reports of major damage

Southeast Alaska was jarred by a significant earthquake early Saturday morning just about midnight. The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 and originated off the coast of Central Southeast Alaska about 95 miles Northwest of Dixon Entrance. There were no immediate reports of any significant damage or injuries.

The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning center issued a warning for all coastal areas of Southeast Alaska and called for residents to move to higher ground in several coastal communities. That included Petersburg, where many bleary-eyed residents drove or walked up the hill to the local ballfields, post office and airport. Chris Cook was among them. He had been working the night shift downtown at the Scandia House Hotel when the earthquake hit:

“I haven’t felt an earthquake before so I actually thought it was a wind gust but then I realized that wind would have been louder and doesn’t shake things quite on the inside. I actually didn’t think anything was going to happen when the police….going back and forth saying, you know, a warning for a Tsunami but then at some point it changed to an evacuation notice…..get to the ballfield and I said ‘Well, thatsounds more serious’,” he said.

Cars parked along the road by the ballfield, up the hill from downtown Petersburg, where residents were advised to move to higher ground during a tsunami warning prompted by the midnight quake. The warning was cancelled around two am Saturday..

During the warning in Petersburg, the siren sounded, police issued instructions downtown by loudspeaker and residents were also contacted by phone through an emergency notification system called Code Red. KFSK public radio broadcast updates on the situation until the authorities cancelled the warning and gave the all-clear around two a-m.

The Tsunami Warning Center reported a half-foot rise in the water level at Port Alexander and just a few inches above normal at Sitka, but said it was not enough to pose a threat.

The Alaska Earthquake Information center said the quake originated at a depth of about 3 miles off the western coast of Prince of Wales Island. The epicenter was about 70 miles west of Craig, 110 miles south of Sitka, 120 miles southwest of Petersburg and Wrangell and about 200 miles south of Juneau.

Recent News

Farm brings fresh goat milk by skiff to Petersburg

Victor and Tabitha Nelson and their daughter tend to some of their over 30 goats on their farm at Point Agassiz on the mainland north of Petersburg.
Buying fresh dairy produce in Southeast Alaska isn’t easy. The rugged, mountainous landscape doesn’t lend itself well to farming. Now, though, a farming couple near Petersburg are trying to change the way people consume milk in town. For the past year they’ve been selling raw milk processed by their own heard of dairy goats. But producing and selling dairy products in Southeast Alaska provides its own unique set of challenges. more

Scientists discover the cause of Baird Glacier’s extreme outburst flooding

This aerial view of the Baird Glacier terminus shows recent flooding. Photo/USFS
Scientists now have a better idea about what caused the outburst flooding at Baird Glacier near Petersburg at the end of September. But as Angela Denning reports, it’s hard for them to know how it affects the surrounding ocean and … more