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Tsunami warning issued following 7.5 magnitude earthquake off Alaska Peninsula - Anchorage Daily News
A tsunami warning was issued for areas along the Alaska Peninsula coastline following the 7.5 earthquake, which was centered 62 miles from Sand Point.
A magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck in the North Pacific Ocean Monday afternoon, triggering a tsunami warning along the Alaska Peninsula Coast. The quake struck about 62 miles southeast of Sand Point at 12:54 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The area is about 575 miles southwest of Anchorage. The earthquake triggered a tsunami warning for areas along the Alaska Peninsula coastline, according to the U.S. Tsunami Warning Center. The warning extended from Kennedy Entrance, 40 miles southwest of Homer, to Unimak Pass, 80 miles northeast of Unalaska. The warning does not include Cook Inlet or Anchorage, according to the warning center. There were no immediate reports of damage. Tsunami arrival times were estimated for Sand Point at 1:55 p.m., Cold Bay at 2:45 p.m. and Kodiak at 2:50 p.m., according to an alert from the National Weather Service. No wave had been reported in Sand Point as of 2:30 p.m., though the warning remained in effect and people had moved to high ground. The earthquake was felt in coastal communities across in the region. It was a pretty good ride I couldnt tell you for how long maybe 15-30 seconds, said Michael Ashley of Cold Bay. All the couches, recliners and bookcases were moving around, and I had to pretty much hold one of them up. In Sand Point, Patrick Mayer, superintendent of Aleutians East Borough School District, was visiting Sand Point School when the earthquake hit. He described it as lasting about 30-45 seconds. You kind of always wait for it to build more, but it just lasted and trailed off, he said. The school is a designated tsunami evacuation point for the town, and its school bus evacuated workers from the Trident Seafoods processing plant. About the time the tsunami was expected to arrive, he said there was no wave in sight. We havent been able to identify any structural damage at this point, and we dont believe there is any, he said. Candace Nielsen captured a video of an earthquake rattling her Cold Bay home on October 19, 2020. (Candace Nielsen video) Mondays earthquake was an aftershock of the 7.8 earthquake that struck the same area in July, said State Seismologist Michael West. The earthquake triggered a number of its own aftershocks shortly after, ranging from 3.5 to 5.9 magnitude. West said additional aftershocks will continue in the area for days after. (edited) Tsunami sirens were reported going off at Kodiak around 1:30 p.m. King Cove city administrator Gary Hennigh said the quake was felt in the Alaska Peninsula community but everything seemed to be intact. Residents and cannery workers are evacuating to higher ground until we know more about the tsunami warning, Hennigh said. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. Reporters Tess Williams and James Brooks contributed.
Following mayor's resignation, Anchorage Assembly extends COVID-19 emergency declaration to Nov. 30 - Anchorage Daily News
The original motion would have extended the emergency declaration through the end of December, but the Assembly made clear it will seek other ways to address the coronavirus pandemic.
We're making this important information about the pandemic available without a subscription as a public service. But we depend on reader support to do this work. Please consider joining others in supporting independent journalism in Alaska for just $3.23 a week. Following the resignation of Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz on Tuesday evening, the Anchorage Assembly voted to extend the municipal COVID-19 emergency declaration through Nov. 30. It is the fifth time that the Assembly has extended the emergency declaration, which gives the mayor special powers to enact emergency orders and take other actions to address the coronavirus pandemic. The motion to extend the emergency declaration passed 9-1, with Assemblywoman Jamie Allard voting against it. Allard has consistently opposed the emergency declaration and voted against each previous extension. How can we possibly extend emergency powers to a man that has just currently resigned? Allard said. The Berkowitz administration had requested that the extension run through the end of the year on Dec. 31. The coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Anchorage and around the state, and city leaders have said that the declaration is a necessary response to the public health threat. Municipal Manager Bill Falsey said that the emergency declaration allows the municipality to act quickly in response to unanticipated conditions and challenges that arise due to the pandemic, such as supporting COVID-19 testing sites. But a motion introduced by Assemblywoman Crystal Kennedy and approved by the body means the city is moving to phase out of the emergency status and will find other ways to address the pandemic. A section added to the motion states that the intent of this extension is solely to allow time to revert all processes out of current emergency status and into normal MOA management processes. Assemblywoman Suzanne LaFrance also made a motion to shorten the timeframe of the extension from the end of December to November. My concern is that we continue to roll forward the emergency orders rather than take the next step, which is to figure out what the transition to a more permanent solution needs to be, LaFrance said. She noted that the Assembly could enact ordinances that respond to the pandemic. She said that she will work with the Assembly and the mayors administration on an ordinance that will recognize the significant ongoing impact of COVID-19 but also deescalate the perpetual state of emergency and granted special powers. If the declaration of emergency had not been extended Tuesday, all current emergency orders from the mayors office would no longer be in effect. Emergency orders still in effect include a citywide mask mandate in public spaces and EO-14, which places capacity restrictions on bars, restaurants and breweries and restricts indoor gathering sizes. Public hearing before any further extension of the emergency declaration will be required, according to an amendment passed by the Assembly and put forth by Assemblyman John Weddleton. Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel proposed a further amendment to the extension requiring that the public hearing take place two weeks before the declaration expires at the end of November. The mayors use of emergency powers to manage the pandemic has drawn contentious public testimony at earlier Assembly meetings. On Tuesday, a crowd again gathered in the chambers to speak against out against the extension and the mayor during tense public testimony. Assembly Chair Felix Rivera warned the crowd, which occasionally erupted into shouting, to be respectful. He said that individuals who were not respectful would be removed from the chambers. Several people who testified asked the Assembly how it could extend the mayors emergency powers following his resignation. Several spoke about the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 restrictions. By keeping these orders in place, you are sentencing your constituents to a sure death. People are starving, people cant afford to pay their bills, people are really struggling right now, said Rosa Mealey. The mayors resignation will take effect on Oct. 23, and at that time the Assembly chair takes over as acting mayor. Rivera is currently chair. The mayors current emergency powers would have expired this Friday and were first issued in March as the Assembly sought to take action against the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz resigns, effective Oct. 23 - Anchorage Daily News
The resignation, Berkowitz said, is the result of unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required.”
A day after disclosing a consensual, inappropriate messaging relationship with a local television anchor, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz resigned Tuesday, effective at the end of next week. The announcement was made during a meeting of the Anchorage Assembly. Berkowitz was not in attendance. Berkowitz, who is married, announced his resignation in a statement read by his chief of staff, Jason Bockenstedt: It is with profound sadness and humility that I resign as Mayor of the Municipality of Anchorage. My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required. I know my conduct has done great injury to my family, my staff, to Municipal employees, and to the people of our community, and for that, I am deeply sorry. To make this transition as smooth as possible, my resignation will be effective Friday, October 23 at 6 p.m. Related: Anchorage mayor admits to inappropriate messaging relationship with news anchor As the statement was read, a crowd in the Assembly chambers erupted into cheers until Assembly chair Felix Rivera told them to stop. Sara Boyer holds a sign along 36th Avenue outside the Loussac Library while the Anchorage Assembly meets on October 13, 2020. The resignation of Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz was announced at the meeting. (Marc Lester / ADN) People wait to testify during the Anchorage Assembly meeting on Oct. 13, 2020. (Bill Roth / ADN) According to the citys charter, the Assembly chair will take over as acting mayor, Rivera said. However, the Assembly can vote to reorganize the Assembly and choose a new chair before the mayors resignation goes into effect in 10 days. During Tuesdays meeting, Assemblywoman Jamie Allard made a motion to reorganize, but the motion failed 8-3. The rapid downfall of the states top elected Democrat began on Friday, just after noon, when Maureen Maria Athens, an anchor/reporter for stations KTBY and KYUR, posted unsubstantiated allegations against Berkowitz on social media, accusing him of posting inappropriate photos on an underage girls website. The chain of events in subsequent days included criminal investigations, a death threat against the mayor, criminal charges against Athens and a city government thrust into uncertainty and controversy as the community remains sharply divided on how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. City manager Bill Falsey, who is running for mayor, told the Assembly Tuesday that top administration officials put up a firewall between the administration and the Anchorage Police Department, which investigated allegations which if true would have constituted a criminal act. The Anchorage Police Department and FBI have said they found no evidence that the allegations about Berkowitz were true. Protesters line up were Anchorage Assembly members enter the chambers for Tuesday's assembly meeting on Oct. 13, 2020. (Bill Roth / ADN) On Monday, Berkowitz admitted to the inappropriate relationship. Top staff members independently decided the mayor couldnt continue in his job, Falsey said. Ultimately our team reached the conclusion it would be untenable for the mayor to continue in his role, he said. Berkowitz agreed, he said. The mayor had not responded to a detailed list of questions Tuesday, including whether he sent inappropriate messages to any other person, as the news anchor has alleged, and whether Athens is being investigated for potential criminal charges related to a death threat she left on his voicemail. Athens, meantime, spoke to the Daily News about the relationship, which she says began in early 2016. At 11 p.m. on Monday night, the mayors office released a threatening voicemail they said Athens sent Berkowitz on Friday. In the voicemail Athens accuses Berkowitz of pedophilia, says shes going to expose him in a TV story and win an Emmy. You either kill yourself, turn yourself in or do what you need to do, she said. She then threatened to personally kill Berkowitz and his wife. You Jewish piece of living f--king s--t, she said on the voicemail. You have met your match. Athens was arrested Friday afternoon on assault, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief charges for a fight that day with her TV station manager, who she also described as her fiancee in a court hearing Saturday. Athen is so far not facing any charges related to the voicemail threats or for posting what she said was a nude photo of the mayors backside on Facebook. Clearly it was a death threat and an anti-Semitic death threat, and so how is he supposed to react to that but to say shes not OK, said Chris Constant, who represents Downtown Anchorage on the Assembly. In a phone interview Monday, before the city released the recording, a Daily News reporter asked Athens whether she made a death threat to the mayor. At the time, she denied making the threat. Athens said she and Berkowitz began exchanging messages more than four years ago. When he slided into my texts, he was so smooth with his little witty slogans and pictures, Athens said. They wrote to each other using a communication app called WhatsApp, she said. At the time, she said, she was feeling isolated in Alaska, away from East Coast family. Athens posted photos of at least six one-on-one interviews with Berkowitz in 2017 and 2018. He gave me attention when I was lonely, Athens said. She would not say whether the relationship ever became physical. Athens did not provide copies of the messages and said she deleted them from her phone, which she said is now in the possession of law enforcement. Athens claimed that she knew of one other woman Berkowitz sent inappropriate messages. The mayors office did not immediately respond to a series of questions about Athens' claims, including whether Berkowitz had ever sent similar messages to any other person. While the nude photo shared by Athens helped to reveal the relationship, Athens has not provided evidence to support her assertion Berkowitz had conducted some kind of illegal activity involving underage girls. On Monday she would not say who or what that accusation was based on, other than sources she would not reveal. Anchorage police say they have investigated the matter, with the FBI, and found no evidence of a crime. Speaking loud and fast, she talked about her love for being a reporter and repeatedly made references to being in il health, saying she had pancreatitis. As she talked, Athens read through an earlier Daily News story about her arrest and disputed elements of the charges. Athens said she and station manager Scott Centers were driving in a news vehicle on C Street when they pulled into a Midtown parking lot. The charges against her say she punched Centers on the side of his face and hit him with her phone; Athens said Centers was driving recklessly and that she grabbed his arm. After a friend drove her to the news station and she was taken into custody by police, the charges say Athens began kicking at the patrol cars back windows and had to be replaced in full restraints. She said that is not correct. I was never in full restraints. They just put me in the police cars because I was cold. I didnt freak out, she said. Athens faces charges of fourth-degree assault, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. She paid $100 bail, she said, and on Sunday was released from jail. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
More than 200 COVID-19 cases reported Sunday; most are in Alaska residents - Anchorage Daily News
186 more Alaskans are infected with COVID-19 as of Sunday, mostly in Anchorage, according to the state health department. 45 non-residents also contracted the virus.
We're making coronavirus coverage available without a subscription as a public service. But we depend on reader support to do this work. Please consider joining others in supporting local journalism in Alaska for just $3.23 a week. New cases of COVID-19 reported Sunday throughout Alaska totaled 231, marking the first day the state has seen a single-day increase of more than 200 cases. The new cases include 186 Alaskans and 45 non-residents, according to the Department of Health and Social Services. Five more people were hospitalized with COVID-19. There were no new deaths. Of the new cases announced in residents Sunday, there are 154 cases in Anchorage, nine in Fairbanks, three in Eagle River, two each in North Pole, Palmer, Juneau, Wrangell and an area in the Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon area, and one case each was reported in Chugiak, Homer, the Yukon-Koyukuk area, Houston, Wasilla, Ketchikan, Prince of Wales-Hyder area, Sitka and Unalaska. There were currently 35 people with COVID-19 who are hospitalized and another eight people who may have the virus. As of Sunday, Alaska had reported 3,102 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alaska, according to the DHSS coronavirus dashboard. More than two-thirds of the cases are currently active. Twenty Alaskans have died of the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. There have been 115 Alaskans hospitalized because of COVID-19 since March. In non-residents, 34 cases were reported in Seward, three in Fairbanks and one in Ketchikan. Seven of the cases were marked as unknown by DHSS. As of Sunday, 950 people in the state have recovered from the virus since the pandemic began, although 2,132 COVID-19 cases are active. The City and Borough of Juneau announced ahead of the state that 21 seafood processor employees tested positive for COVID-19 Saturday. In total, 61 Alaska Glacier Seafoods employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since July 14. Forty more employees are awaiting test results, the city wrote in an online statement. The virus was spread through the processing plant by an employee who contracted COVID-19 through community spread, the city wrote. The seafood employees are all in isolation and contact investigations are ongoing, the city said. The city did another round of testing on the 100 employees on July 22. The city also announced 16 people tested positive for the virus unrelated to the seafood processing plant Saturday. The cases are likely due to community spread travel and secondary transmission, Public Health Nursing in Juneau said. It is paramount that community members remain vigilant in slowing the spread of COVID-19, said Mila Cosgrove, emergency operations center incident commander for Juneau. When you keep at least six feet away from non-family members, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and stay home when youre sick, youre not just limiting your own risk, youre helping to protect the whole community. [Because of a high volume of comments requiring moderation, we are temporarily disabling comments on many of our articles so editors can focus on the coronavirus crisis and other coverage. We invite you to write a letter to the editor or reach out directly if youd like to communicate with us about a particular article. Thanks.]