Friday, June 24, 2011
Last evening, there was an earthquake that occurred in the Aleutian Chain. You may have heard about it, the tsunami warning that followed, and then the cancellation of the warning.
We were never in danger here, and were only under and informational posting, not even a "tsunami watch". All the networks (CNN, ADN, etc) all posted around the same time that the official website cancelled the advisory. Less than 5 minutes later, I heard something outside and opened the door. Our tsunami warning system was blaring, saying we were under warning, and to evacuate.
Facebook became aflutter with confusion, and it sounds like the poor tourists panicked a bit getting to somewhere higher in elevation. Then the borough ended up calling some folks and letting them know it was a fluke, basically.
Apparently, the warning system is supposed to go off if there is a warning anywhere in the state. Unfortunately, this is incredibly impractical considering how large Alaska's coastline is. This occurred also right after the Japan earthquake in March, as well. It just wasn't as huge of a deal because there were no tourists and it was the middle of the night. We were needlessly warned of a cancelled threat. The boy crying wolf comes to mind, for sure. The system is great, but it is doing more harm than good right now.