Tag Archives: yakutat earthquake

Tsunami and Earthquake Update

Good morning everyone!  Hope all is well with you.  Most people in Yakutat are a little groggy this morning,  since this was a real tsunami warning and we actually did what we were supposed to!  People went door-to-door and evacuated to the school and/or higher ground.

Apparently one of the ocean buoys rose 33 feet during the quake,  so a real tsunami was expected.  Nothing much hit here,  but Yakutat actually prepared for the worst.  Listening to one of the reports after the fact this morning,  they were recommending all coastal communities evacuate to at least 100 feet above sea level.  That’s kind of hard to do in Yakutat,  since you’d have to be at the top of the moraine up against the mountains to do that.  Even 9 Mile Bridge is only about 60 feet,  let alone the airport at only about 20 feet…

But all is OK here.  No damage.  An absolutely gorgeous sunny morning with between 4 and 6 inches of fresh snow covering everything.

Rocking and Rolling in the Hangar Tonight

Yet another good earthquake under our belts.  This one rocked and swayed us for more than 2 minutes.  According to the USGS site,  it was located out in the ocean 10 km under the ocean floor about 200 km southeast of Kodiak Island.  This is a LONG way away for us to feel it like that,  but it was an 8.2!

Quake

Currently under a tsunami warning from California through the Aleutians,  as well as Hawaii.  According to the tsunami forecast,  e should see our swell here at 2:05am,  so in another 50 minutes from my typing.  Oh,  they just downgraded it to a 7.9.

Here is the Tsunami warning info:

Tsunami

Tsunami2

And it is snowing heavy right now.  Gotta be up for the ACE mail flight in two hours,  but thought I’d let you know we’re all still alive at the moment…

Rockin’ and a Rollin’

Over 20 earthquakes just rocked us here at the hangar in the past 10 minutes.  They are centered in Canada about half-way between Yakutat and Skagway.  Started with a 6.2,  with a bunch of 2’s and 3’s,  another big shake at 5.2,  ending with the last one at 6.4.  Looks like the aftershocks are still going on,  but not quite strong enough for us to feel them…

05-01-2017 -- EQ

The second floor of this old steel-framed building can definitely accentuate the swaying of an earthquake too.  Good enough to get our butts out of bed and check the earthquake center website.  I still wasn’t asleep after working the ACE mail flight.  Teen just checked the Anchorage Daily News and they are already reporting the power knocked out in Whitehorse.

An interesting morning!  Light rain through the early AM has given us a flow of 181 CFS on the Situk.  As of 630am,  the rain has stopped.  Just dark clouds and showers scattered across the horizon.

And last night as I came back to the airport after hitting the gym,  we had a visitor on the ramp…  An old 1947 DC3A Ozark Air Lines,  on her way to her new home in Anchorage.  Beautiful passenger config 3 with 32 seats and a lav!

This plane has the cowl flaps that wrap around the entire engine (mine just has them on the bottom cowl) and some really cool radio antennas along the belly.

Another Round of Earthquakes

Yakutat was rocked again this morning,  by several strong earthquakes centered about 70 miles west of Gustavus between Lituya Bay and Cape Spencer.  Right around 3am,  residents were rolled out of their sleep by what seemed to be a quake lasting more than two minutes,  with two good sized jolts mixed in the middle.  According to the USGS,  they were two separate quakes measuring 4.7 and 5.9 beginning 44 seconds and 2 km apart.  7 more aftershocks between 4.5 and 3.8 hit the same area throughout the next two hours.

Yakutat had several earthquakes near Mt St Elias last week of a similar magnitude and frequency of aftershocks.  The largest was a 6.0,  93 km to the NNW.  Today’s quakes occurred 195 miles to the ESE of Yakutat.

The two recent earthquake events on either side of Yakutat

The two recent earthquake events on either side of Yakutat

The isolated coast as we approach Cape Spencer

I happened to take a photo of the location of the quakes just yesterday!

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Shaking me into Action

Not a lot of posts lately,  even though we have a lot to talk about…  I’ll try to get some written here in the next couple days,  so my apologies if an avalanche of posts come your way this week.  We had quite the earthquake shake this morning,  so I at least have to post about that!

At 3:58am this morning,  Teen and I were roused from our sleep to a 5.8 quake.  It was actually centered a little over 100 miles to the southeast of us closer to Haines,  AK,  but we sure did feel it here.  One of the stronger quakes we have seen in a couple years.  It could be that being on the second floor of the hangar helped to increase the swaying motion we felt too.

Here is the map location from the Alaska Earthquake Center (who will be here this weekend servicing their remote sensing sites by helicopter and operating from the hangar).

June 4th,  2014 Earthquake at 3:58am centered 49 miles west-southwest of Haines,  Alaska and 113 miles east-southeast of Yakutat

June 4th, 2014 Earthquake at 3:58am centered 49 miles west-southwest of Haines, Alaska and 113 miles east-southeast of Yakutat

Red lines on the map indicate our major fault lines.  If you move straight toward the ocean from the quake’s location (at a 45º angle down and left),  you can kind-of see Lituya Bay,  home of the largest wave ever recorded on earth.  In the 1958 quake centered there,  the hillside at the head of the bay collapsed,  creating a splash-wave that denuded the forest over 1,700 feet up the opposite hillside.  By the time the wave hit Cenotaph Island and the three fishing boats anchored in the bay,  it was between 30 and 100 feet high,  sinking two of the three boats.  It was quite a ride!  I’ll attach some photos from the ’58 quake below.

The region around Yakutat has had a lot of quake activity lately,  but most were too weak to feel.  Lots of little quakes tends to mean the plates are slipping gradually to relieve the pressure,  instead of having a really big catastrophic one like the 1958 and 1899 quakes that killed people around here.  We like little ones,  in other words…  No Tsunami warning was issued.

Hard to tell the damage in this,  but it nearly topped the visible hillside!

Hard to tell the damage in this, but it nearly topped the visible hillside!

The backside of the previous photo - most of these say the same thing and are about the Khantaak deaths and not the Lituya Bay wave

The backside of the previous photo – most of these say the same thing and are about the Khantaak deaths and not the Lituya Bay wave

Wide shot showing Lituya Bay and the stripped wave damage along both shorelines

Wide shot showing Lituya Bay and the stripped wave damage along both shorelines

The backside of Cenotaph Island

The backside of Cenotaph Island

The hillside that collapsed and sloughed away into the water

The hillside that collapsed and sloughed away into the water

Sloughed area faded on the right side of the glacier,  with the high point of the wave damage dead center

Sloughed area faded on the right side of the glacier, with the high point of the wave damage dead center

Looking from Lituya Glacier out toward the ocean from the slough

Looking from Lituya Glacier out toward the ocean from the slough

A more modern photo looking out the bay toward the island and ocean

A more modern photo looking out the bay toward the island and ocean

Taken a month ago,  you can clearly see the brown stripe of the "bathtub ring" along the shore,  where the spruce forest was killed and only willow and alder grows today

Taken a month ago, you can clearly see the brown stripe of the “bathtub ring” along the shore, where the spruce forest was killed and only willow and alder grows today

Today’s quake details:

Preferred Hypocentral Solution:

Local Date: Wednesday June 4th, 2014
Local Time: 03:58 AM AKDT
Universal Time: 06/04/2014 11:58:56.169 UTC
Magnitude: 5.84 ML
Latitude: 58.9939
Longitude: -136.7302
Depth: 14 miles (22 km)
Author: AK:dutylap

 

This earthquake was:

41 miles (65 km) SW of Klukwan
49 miles (78 km) WSW of Haines
54 miles (87 km) NW of Gustavus
58 miles (92 km) NNW of Elfin Cove
60 miles (96 km) WSW of Skagway
74 miles (119 km) NNW of Pelican
77 miles (124 km) NW of Hoonah
96 miles (154 km) WNW of Juneau
98 miles (157 km) WNW of Douglas
101 miles (162 km) NNW of Tenakee Springs
113 miles (181 km) ESE of Yakutat
122 miles (195 km) SSW of Whitehorse
364 miles (583 km) ESE of Valdez
481 miles (769 km) ESE of Anchorage
541 miles (865 km) SE of Fairbanks