Valley Native Recounts Experience in Alaska Earthquake

Valley Native Recounts Experience in Alaska Earthquake
6 years 4 months 5 days ago Tuesday, January 23 2018 Jan 23, 2018 January 23, 2018 8:08 PM January 23, 2018 in News

WESLACO – A Rio Grande Valley man says he was woken up Tuesday morning by a text from his brother in Alaska. It said he was seeking safety after an earthquake shook up the area where he lives.

Thomas Deckard says his granddaughter’s voice is usually his alarm clock in the mornings, but Tuesday morning was a little different.

Deckard says he got a text from his brother in Anchorage, Alaska saying he had just experienced a 7.9 magnitude earthquake.

From there it was a storm of text messages in his families group chat to find out how his little brother was doing.

"The first messages I got were, he was talking how a friend of his who is one of the drivers in his company got knocked out of bed," says Deckard.

He says the danger wasn't over yet, Alaska would soon be under a tsunami warning.

Russell Deckard moved from Port Isabel to Anchorage close to 30 years ago, he says he had never received a tsunami warning on his phone until Tuesday morning. Even with the many earthquakes they experience daily.

"They're not normally that big but we have earthquakes all the time," said Russell.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the strike-slip earthquake just south of the Pacific Tectonic Plate Convergence shook for minutes. The Port Isabel native says this was a little odd.

"The one last night shook for about a minute and normally they're just about 15 seconds or so," he said.

Russell says the quake woke up everyone and struck fear of a tsunami in people after a similar earthquake of more magnitude caused a tsunami spreading destruction in Alaska in 1964.

Russell says most of the quakes they experience are inland, so one in the Gulf of Alaska was uncommon.

Both brothers are just glad that everyone was OK. They say things could have been a lot worse.

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