California family explains their experience in Alaska earthquake


A magnitude 7 earthquake in Alaska destroyed roads and buildings in Anchorage and the surrounding areas Friday.

The U-S Geological Survey is predicting hundreds of aftershocks.

Several above a magnitude 5 have already happened.

“For me, it’s still scary every time because there is the small chance that we could have another really big one. So then every time one hits, and then the more frequently they hit, you’re thinking ‘Oh, is that gonna be another really big one?’” said Carrie Fia, who was teaching at a middle school in Alaska when Friday’s earthquake hit.

Carrie Fia is originally from Salinas.

She and her daughter Rachel now work as middle school teachers in Wasilla, about 40 minutes North of Anchorage, even closer to the epicenter of Friday’s earthquake.

“We were sitting there during First Period and we got a little jolt and we were kind of thinking like, what is this?” said Carrie Fia.

“It was shaking and shaking. The ceiling started falling. Computers were falling and desks were falling over. And there was a lot of debris and dust in the air,” added Rachel Fia.

“So I’m like, ‘Everybody, under the desk.’ The kids were great, they dove under the desk, and then it just kept going,” continued Carrie Fia.

When I was with my students, I had to keep a calm demeanor because I didn’t want to freak them out, but once we got them all home, it was like, ‘Wow, that just happened.’ It was definitely scary to see how much damage there was,” said Rachel Fia.

Now, every aftershock they feel is a reminder of what they experienced yesterday morning.

Another reminder: The collapsed road outside their home.

“Just to see what it did to the roads is just unbelievable. And it’s like, where do you even start to fix that? The one area of the road where we took pictures dropped another four inches this morning,” said Carrie Fia.

School in Wasilla is scheduled to be closed Monday and Tuesday.

But for the most part, luckily, Carrie and Rachael say everyone is doing their best to go about life as normal.

“Overall in Anchorage and in the valley where we live, there have been very few major injuries, and that’s truly a blessing, because that was one big earthquake,” said Carrie Fia.

The Alaska Earthquake Center has advice on how to stay safe before, during, and after an earthquake.

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