Press "Enter" to skip to content

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seven weeks after a massive earthquake rocked Alaska, aftershocks are still shattering 7-year-old Connor Cartwright’s sense of safety.

They shake the earth far less than the 7.0 magnitude quake that sent a mirror, TV and dishes crashing to the ground in the Anchorage home where Connor lives with his mother, father and 11-year-old brother.

But the seemingly never-ending aftershocks deepen quake anxiety for the second-grader and many other Alaska residents in the wide swath of the state shaken by the Nov. 30 quake.

When the big aftershocks hit, Connor fears his home will collapse.

“I feel like the house won’t hold up,” he said.

Many of the aftershocks are so small that people don’t notice them, like a recent one that Connor didn’t feel at school — but his teacher made all the students dive under their desks to be safe.

The latest big aftershock happened last Sunday — a magnitude 5.0 jolt that flared already frayed nerves and prompted panicky posts on social media.

That one “reminded people again that it’s not over yet,” said seismologist Natalia Rupert at the Alaska Earthquake Center.