When the city manager is the person responsible for local tsunami response decisions interesting things can happen when a tsunami warning is issued shortly before the city council is scheduled to approve the next year’s budget.
The regular Kodiak City Council meeting last night began just minutes after the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for part of the Aleutian Islands.
At 7:10 p.m. a magnitude 7-point-4 earthquake occurred 20 miles southeast of Amutka Pass in the Fox Island. A tsunami warning was issued for the coastal areas of Alaska from Unimak Pass, 80 miles northeast of Dutch Harbor, to Amchitka Pass which is 125 miles west of Adak.
While the tsunami warning did not directly affect Kodiak, City Manger Aimee Kniaziowski acts as the emergency services director for Kodiak Island. She is the one who ultimately makes the decision whether or not to evacuate low lying areas should a tsunami threaten the island.
Several times throughout last night’s council meeting Kniaziowski interrupted the proceedings to announce updates on the tsunami warning.
If a tsunami had been generated it would have reached Adak at approximately 8:12 p.m. The all clear was given at about 8:20 and Kniaziowski duly noted the end of the tsunami warning to the council and the audience.