When we awoke Saturday morning, Michelle found the slight layer of dust on the kitchen faucet mildly confusing. More so Aly’s phone message asking us if we’d felt the earthquake. Shortly after that, we heard (on NPR of all places) that Southeast Alaska had been hit by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake!
Like most of the earthquakes I’ve experienced growing up and living most of my life in Alaska, this one passed me unawares. When it hit west of Craig (pronounced like your friend, Craig’s name, not “Crag,” as the newscaster did) around midnight, we were asleep. We found out from Aly that she and the friend she’s staying with as she passes through Juneau on her way back to college had just turned in. She said she felt dizzy to the point of falling down, had she not been lying down already.
I realized that we wouldn’t have stood a chance if the tsunami the earthquake generated had been of dangerous magnitude. We had inadvertently disabled our Earthquake Alarm before going to bed that evening.
When we returned home to the cabin in the late afternoon after delivering Aly to the ferry, I decided that after dinner, we needed a treat. I produced the bottle of port we’d purchased last October and squirreled away. Lacking proper port glasses, I pulled down our smallest wine glasses, and poured us each a splash.
These glasses, an excellent garage sale find, are about 10 oz. crystal goblets. We love how elegantly they ring when we toast. This same quality makes them an asset to our Earthquake Alarm, which is our wine glass rack. The glasses that hang in it clink together if shaken enough. This sound is often our only indication that an earthquake is occurring.
I checked the glasses remaining in the rack. One set, placed close together, made no noise. The others made a mellow ring that might have awakened Michelle, but perhaps not. The other goblets would have gotten our attention—if shaken hard enough. Craig is well south of us, and so far we’ve heard no reports of damage anywhere. Likely we wouldn’t have felt it here.
Even so, it encouraged us to finally switch one of our weather radios to “alert.” It should now pop on anytime an emergency broadcast triggers it. We’ve always meant to do this, but never have until now.