Mother Nature rattled Northern Southeast this morning (7-25-14) with and magnitude 5.9 earthquake and several dozen aftershocks. The quake appeared to have damaged internet and cell service to thousands of Southeast residents. Service providers suspect damage to an underwater fiber-optic cable, but the cable's owner, Alaska Communications Systems, has not released any information.
Most Southeast Alaskans slept through Friday morning’s (7-25-14) magnitude 5.9 earthquake, but there were plenty who didn’t. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey spoke with a few people around the region who were jolted awake in the wee hours by the quake and its many aftershocks -- including some very happy campers.
After a Sitka homeowner unearths suspicious wires, local officials call in a military explosives squad to investigate.
UPDATE 10:47 AM FRI JUL 25, 2014 An early morning earthquake today is causing widespread communications problems in Southeast Alaska. Both Alaska Communications and AT&T wireless and internet services were affected. A recorded message on ACS’s customer services line says the outage is affecting some customers in Southeast. “This is our highest priority and we are working to restore service as quickly as possible,” the message said. ACS spokeswoman Hannah Blankenship says crews are still working to determine which networks were affected by the quake. An AT&T representative could not be reached for comment. Revised figures from the Alaska Earthquake Information Center put the quake’s magnitude at 5.9. It struck about 97 miles west of Juneau at a depth of about 6 miles. It was followed by several aftershocks. The largest was magnitude 5.7.
Sealaska has moved one step closer to owning the land surrounding Sitka’s Reboubt Falls. A ruling this month dismissed a claim to the same land filed by the Sheldon Jackson College trustees. If it stands, the ruling will remove a major obstacle from the decades-long effort to gain Native ownership of the site, home to the area’s largest subsistence sockeye fishery.
Sitka’s car owners may soon see a fee increase. The assembly voted 5 to 1 Tuesday night to raise vehicle registration fees. Money raised through the tax would go towards the city’s roads.