The GCA team has a lot to be thankful for! We are not burying anyone in our family, in our churches, on our team, or in our state! Normally a magnitude 7.0 earthquake, would result in lives lost. The epicenter was 15 miles south west of Big Lake near the Goose Bay airport (Z40).
The Kirsch family had minor structural damage: the earthquake found all the weak spots in their home: some rot along a sill plate allowing a wall to break free, poor construction of the original one room cabin allowing a beam to split, etc. The Sidders family had their hot water tank lines break even though it was strapped to the wall (ripped bolts out of the studs) and lost a lot of precious family heirlooms that the kids no longer wonder who is getting. Michael Nylund had some of his supports twist and break resulting in his house turning about 6-12 inches about its axis but thankfully not toppling over.
In the Big Lake area, some people's houses fell off their foundations, chimneys toppled over, wood supports sheared off, and steel supports are permanently bent. There is lots of road damage and our local middle school is condemned due to the structural damage. People are still assessing the damage but everyone is thankful the last good size aftershock (4.8 magnitude) was on Sunday 12/9 at 10 AM.
The Lord released the energy equivalent to 2000 Hiroshima bombs 15 miles from our town and approximately 20 miles under the surface. Our God is almighty in power but the lack of serious injuries is a testament to His mercy during the earthquake. The Lord has the attention of many Alaskans, so we pray that many would come to Christ in the coming months as a result of this demonstration of God's immense power.
Besides the protection of our families, our homes, the team at GCA is also thankful the only planes that were damaged during the earthquake were toy planes!