Screenshot from the Alaska Earthquaker Center
Screenshot from the Alaska Earthquaker Center

I arrived home this afternoon after a brief trip to Seattle to visit family and bring my kids back from a month-long visit with their grandparents. We all had things to take care of, so did not take much advantage of the pleasant day in town. (It had been mostly cloudy on the flight in, though there were patches of broken clouds where I could see down to the water or land below. Sitting on the seaward side of the plane, I did recognize Port Alexander, but beyond that clouds obscured most of Baranof Island until we were a little south of Biorka.)

This evening while sitting upstairs working on my computer, I was a little surprised to feel the house shake. A few moments later it shook again. It seemed like more than would have happened from a large vehicle going by (and I did not near one of those anyway), so after waiting a few moments in anticipating that there might be more, I checked online and saw that there was a quake near Sitka. Originally reported to be magnitude 4 about 70 miles away, it was later revised (presumably based on additional information and/or analysis) to a magnitude 3.6, but only about 30 miles away.

It’s only the third quake I have ever felt. The first was one Sunday afternoon 25-30 years ago. I was at the dinner table with my family (and guests, I think) and it felt like someone was shaking the table with their leg, but the hanging plants were also swinging. The other more recent one was a couple of years ago – it was easily the strongest of the three, but I was asleep when it hit, and had only a vague sense of it, as I only partially woke up from the shaking.

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