Browsing University of Alaska Fairbanks by Subject "earthquakes; oral history; Alaska; 1947 earthquake"
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Earthquake Stories from Minto and Nenana, AlaskaOn Wednesday October 15, 1947 at 4:10pm local time, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Interior Alaska, near Healy. This is a collection of stories of six life-long Alaskan elders who felt this earthquake and shared their recollections in fall of 2014, sixty-seven years after the earthquake. Geraldine Charlie had recently turned 18 years old and worked in the village store in Minto when the earthquake hit. Geraldine was crouching down to weigh a bag of potatoes at the moment the earthquake hit. She felt dizzy and noticed Coleman lanterns swaying from side to side, and items shook off the shelves. Sarah Silas and Berkman Silas were also in Minto and had been married for three years. Sarah recalls watching her toddler son, who laughed as he tried to maintain his balance as the floor rolled back and forth under his feet. Berkman and other men were ice fishing near Little Goldstream Creek when the earthquake hit. Rafting ice caused the men to run for the shore. Paul Esau was near Tolovana working on the roof of their home. Caroline Ketzler was up in their food cache at their home up the Kantishna River. Henry Ketzler was in a cabin in Nenana and ran for the exit, only to hit the door frame as it shook with the entire house. These are their stories from 1947. Also discussed in these stories are the effects from the 1912 Katmai eruption, the 1937 Salcha earthquake, and the 1964 earthquake.