Alaska is VERY seismically active. At our place, we feel the earth shudder several times a year. On November 30, South Central Alaska suffered a 7.2 earthquake, followed, in the ensuing month, by more than 6000 aftershocks, some of which were strong enough (above 5.0) to cause additional damage.
At the time, we were out of state, so we nervously contacted friends in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley – on either side of the epicenter – to see how they fared. One man said that everything on any shelf, wall, or mantle came crashing down, and his house is now riddled with cracks. He was particularly devastated that his sons’ clay mementos, like their hospital footprints, had been smashed to smithereens. A woman lost only one wine glass… and an entire 30 gallon aquarium (on carpet, of course!). An acquaintance said that her home was fine but that her father’s house was totaled and he barely escaped when his two story stone fireplace buckled, smothering the couch on which he had just been seated, seconds before. The closest school to us – some 20 miles by air – is closed for the rest of the year.