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Sat Aug 14, 2021, 12:03 AM

Alaska Science Forum: The closest people to an 8.2 earthquake


A cabin on Chowiet Island off the Alaska Peninsula in which two biologists were the closest humans to a recent magnitude 8.2 earthquake. (Courtesy Photo /Erik Andersen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.)



What if the country’s largest earthquake in the last half century happened as you were getting ready for bed in the only cabin on a tiny island in the North Pacific. What if the epicenter was just 50 miles away?

A magnitude 8.2 earthquake happened at 10:15 p.m. Alaska time on July 28, 2021. The people who were closest to the rupture of the Aleutian megathrust zone were two biologists who are living on Chowiet Island this summer.

Chowiet Island, a tiny speck in the North Pacific, is part of the vast Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, which includes the entire sweep of the Aleutian Islands.

The crew of the Refuge ship the Tiglax dropped Katie Stoner and Briana Bode off on Chowiet Island in early May. Their duties on the green island are to climb its rocky cliffs and continue studies on murres, auklets and puffins and other seabirds that biologists have carried out for years.

Read more: https://www.juneauempire.com/news/alaska-science-forum-the-closest-people-to-an-8-2-earthquake/


This photo sent via satellite phone shows the interior of a cabin on Chowiet Island a few hours after a nearby magnitude 8.2 earthquake. (Courtesy Photo / Katie Stoner, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.



Biologists Briana Bode, left, and Katie Stoner as they were dropped off at their cabin on Chowiet Island in May 2021. The women recently experienced a magnitude 8.2 earthquake there, not far from the epicenter.(Courtesy Photo / Heather Renner, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge)

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Reply Alaska Science Forum: The closest people to an 8.2 earthquake (Original post)
TexasTowelie Aug 2021 OP
yonder Aug 2021 #1
PoindexterOglethorpe Aug 2021 #2
eppur_se_muova Aug 2021 #3
PoindexterOglethorpe Aug 2021 #5
wyn borkins Aug 2021 #4
TexasTowelie Aug 2021 #6
Baitball Blogger Aug 2021 #7

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Aug 14, 2021, 12:16 AM

1. I'm impressed how quick thinking and level headed they were.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Aug 14, 2021, 12:24 AM

2. Oh, yes.

I vividly recall the early news on the Good Friday Quake in 1964.

For those of you who don't know much about it or were born after, please read On Shaky Ground by John J. Nance. I have been reading books about earthquakes for literally decades, and this is the most amazing book ever. I first read it in 1989. The first part of the book talks about the 1964 Good Friday earthquake in Alaska. I'm old enough to remember that quake. It was incredible. And especially for those too young to recall those original reports. please read this book. It is amazing. Nance does a phenomenal job of talking about that quake and any number of others. His book was the first time I learned about the New Madrid quakes of 1811-1812. The are almost totally forgotten about today, but were huge, perhaps beyond huge, back then.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 14, 2021, 01:02 AM

3. Good book recs always welcome. nt

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 14, 2021, 01:52 AM

5. Thank you.

I originally read On Shaky Ground in 1989, the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday quake. More recently I ordered it on line because my paperback version was falling apart. The morning it arrived, I woke up to NPR talking about a massive quake in Japan. What? There had been a quake the day before. What were they talking about?

It was March 11, 2011. The massive earthquake and resulting tsunami. How amazing.

I just spent some time looking in my bookshelf, and cannot find my copy of On Shaky Ground, which is disturbing. I know exactly where it should be, but it's not there. That book is simply the best earthquake book I have ever read, and I'd recommend it to everyone. Perhaps I need to purchase another copy.,

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Aug 14, 2021, 01:47 AM

4. Are Those Really Fed-Ex Packages On The North-Side Beach

Thank you for this posting. I found it interesting as well as informative (especially at the link).

My sense tells me they should have a small gas-powered generator for emergencies plus a decent water supply and some type of toilet facilities with a DURN SHOWER (at least). Then there was that odd conversation between Briana and Katie:

Briana (to Katie): Katie, I know you were inside all morning working on our report for next week.

Katie (to Briana): That's right, and I have nearly finished it.

Briana (to Katie): While I was on our little spy-spot on the south shoals just earlier, I was concentrating on the rippers through my scope when I felt a nudge on my left shoulder. I held my view for another few seconds then turned sharply to say hello, but no one was about.

Katie (to Briana): Now exactly when will the Tiglax arrive?

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Response to wyn borkins (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 14, 2021, 03:22 AM

6. You're welcome.

The story caught my attention and it was amazing that these two women kept their composure during the earthquake and aftershocks. I suspect that both women will be happy to return back to civilization in a couple months.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Aug 14, 2021, 07:14 AM

7. I wonder what was the cause of the smell of animal decomposition?

I'm guessing they found Godzilla's grave.

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