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Alaska News

Watch: 7.6 earthquake shakes, rattles Cold Bay home

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: October 20
  • Published October 19
Candace Nielsen captured a video of an earthquake rattling her Cold Bay home on October 19, 2020. (Candace Nielsen video)

Candace Nielsen was finishing lunch with her three kids when the shaking started in Cold Bay on Monday. Nielsen huddled under her “rickety” table with her daughter Brooke, 7, her son Wilder, 2, and Scout, her 8-month-old son, while the earthquake rattled their home about 128 miles west of the epicenter.

Nielsen said she tried to remain calm and upbeat because Brooke had been particularly frightened by an earthquake in July. On Monday, her daughter watched her during Monday’s quake.

“She was pretty upset. She started crying. I just kept reassuring her through it,” Nielsen said.

From under the table, Nielsen captured the sight of recliners rocking and Halloween decoration swaying on the wall as the magnitude-7.6 quake rumbled through the western Alaska Peninsula city. She said the three dogs in her home appeared confused by the noise and the behavior of the people.

“We are going to want something to remember what this was like,” she said.

Nielsen said she and her family evacuated to higher ground when the magnitude-7.8 rattled the region on July 21. This time, she said she felt comfortable staying home to see how others in the community responded. By 3 pm., she hadn’t heard of anyone who had evacuated Cold Bay. She said the quake left her with just a few books to pick up off the floor.

— Marc Lester

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the U.S. Geological Survey on Tuesday upgraded the magnitude of Monday’s earthquake from 7.5 to 7.6.

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