State and local briefly

Posted: Monday, February 07, 2000

Sunday quakes shake Seward and Interior

FAIRBANKS AND ANCHORAGE- A light earthquake shook Seward early Sunday, but there were no reports of damage or injuries. The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the magnitude 3.4 quake occurred at 6:31 a.m. and was centered about 18 miles northeast of Seward.

Another mild earthquake Sunday night shook sections of Interior Alaska, but there were no reports of any damage or injuries.

The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the quake was centered 17 miles northwest of Nenana. Seismologists said it had a magnitude of 3.2 and occurred at 7:17 p.m. The quake was felt at Nenana.

Ketchikan man dies in traffic accident

KETCHIKAN - A Ketchikan man was killed over the weekend when his truck went off the road and struck a tree.

Jerome Galley, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene late Saturday, the Alaska State Troopers said. Galley was wearing a seatbelt, troopers said.

Kodiak changes tsunami warnings

KODIAK - This island community will start sounding the tsunami sirens and directing residents to higher ground for almost all local earthquakes after learning that the tsunami warning system isn't foolproof.

The city changed its policy late last month after talking with seismologists following December's quake.

City manager Bill Jones, who doubles as Kodiak's emergency services director, did not sound the alarms when a 7.2 magnitude quake shook the island for about 25 seconds on Dec. 6 because the National Warning System reported almost immediately that the temblor did not generate a tsunami.

But Jones has learned that the warning system is not foolproof.

``We could get a local surge that would not be detected by (the warning system), so we're changing the policy and (will) sound the sirens for quakes other than slight tremors,'' Jones said.

Seward Highway avalanches cleared

ANCHORAGE - The Seward Highway north of Seward was reopened Sunday evening after an avalanche shut the road down Saturday night.

Alaska State Troopers notified the state Department of Emergency Services of the avalanche, at Mile 22 north of Seward, at about 10:45 p.m. Saturday night. No one was injured.

The slide was about 200 feet wide and up to 10 feet deep. The closure came about 10 hours after the highway from Anchorage to Seward was declared open along its entire length for the first time in a week.

The highway has been blocked by a series of avalanches since Jan. 30.

Kenai Peninsula moose are starving

KENAI - The heavy snow that has fallen on the Kenai Peninsula in the past month is taking its toll on area moose.

A dozen moose were killed on roads in the central Kenai Peninsula last week.

Ted Spraker, Kenai area biologist with the state Department of Fish and Game, said the situation was not as bad as last year, when 249 moose starved to death.

Spraker attributed much of the carnage in 1999 to heavy snows that fell in December of 1998. Snow depths on the central peninsula that year were comparable to what's on the ground now, at the beginning of February, Spraker said.

``When they are forced onto their winter range too early, they can destroy the browse in a month,'' Spraker said.

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