image courtesy USGS
The 2016 Old Iliamna earthquake struck in the Cook Inlet region of Alaska near Iliamna at 1:30 AM AST on January 24, 2016. The quake was centered approximately 162 miles from Anchorage, and 65 miles from Homer. The earthquake registered 7.1, and was felt across a wide area of Southcentral Alaska, the Kenai Peninsula and as far away as Juneau roughly 700 miles southeast of the epicenter. Damage, mostly moderate with pockets of heavier damage, was experienced across a wide area of Southcentral Alaska. On the Kenai Peninsula, four homes were destroyed in Kenai due to gas leak related fires. Businesses had damage to merchandise, and the Kalifornsky Beach Road was heavily damaged. There were also power outages in Homer, as well as moderate property damage. There was a voluntary evacuation of the Homer Spit. -- from WikipediaSaturday night--hadn't been sleeping long--when I woke to the sound of a crash, followed closely by the stampede of half-a-dozen cats upstairs and away. After a few seconds, I could feel the shake-shake-shake of the ground.
The gentle shaking had almost subsided when the second wave hit, a series of increasingly sharp jolts that got our attention. Denny grasped my hand and pushed up closer to the wall. I could hear things falling over upstairs and thought, if we have a third shock, we will be in trouble.
We waited a moment. The shaking seemed to subside--though when every pendant thing in the house is swinging, it is hard to really tell when the shaking stops. We got out of bed and went out to see what damage had been done. We could see we still had lights, so I checked the propane tank--still sitting pretty--and the plumbing connections on the second floor--no spurting water--then did what every 21st-century first-worlder would do, checked to see if we had internet and got on Facebook to report in. (Being old Alaskans, we checked the Tsunami Warning Center and the Volcano Observatory as well.)
As news reports came in, Homer seemed to be the closest town to the epicenter and although we had had a pretty interesting ride, only a few unsecured things, like framed photos and stacks of DVDs had toppled. I think under the glacial soils there is a lump of bedrock that makes up Bluff Point, so we are on firmer ground than the folks in the lowlands and alluvial fans.
Although they were farther away from the epicenter than we were, the Kenai area suffered more significant damage. A foot-wide crack split K-Beach road a mile or so from the Kasilof end, and one neighborhood in Kenai experienced a gas-line leak and explosion.