When the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck five miles northwest of Anchorage on Friday morning, students with the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program were in the dorms on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus getting ready for breakfast.
“They’re all fine. They’re just a little bit shaken," said Andrea Kawagley, Program Director at the ANSEP Academy.
Students from across rural Alaska, including some from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, landed in Anchorage on Thursday night to begin the a middle school academy through ANSEP. Kawagley wants parents and guardians to know that the program is working to get children in contact with them.
“Some calls are hard to get through right now because some lines are down with GCI," said Kawagley. "But everybody is fine, and we’re all trying to get everybody to call home here.”
The Tsunami Warning Center has cancelled its initial tsunami warning issued for the coastal areas of the Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula.
For now, Kawagley says that the program is “on pause,” and the students are waiting in the UAA dorms. Roads in Anchorage are damaged, some areas are without power, water mains are broken, and many of the instructors with the program are either caught in traffic or working to clean up their homes following the quake.
Kwagley says that the dorms where the students are staying are in good condition and have power and water. The ANSEP Middle School STEM academy runs five days and was to be focusing on rocketry. Past academies have focused on earthquake infrastructure. The students are scheduled to fly home on Wednesday morning unless plans change.