ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Unforgettable security camera footage of last Friday’s magnitude 7.0 earthquake showed a father grab his daughter and run outdoors barefoot into the snow followed by his wife.
Tony Skilja stands just outside his home with his daughter Sofia as Friday's earthquake hits. Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Skilja.
Toni Skilja, owner of Anchorage Auto Mart, says he and his daughter were coloring at the table when he heard the sound of the earthquake. When the shaking started, his instinct was to grab his daughter and run outdoors.
His wife Jennifer Skilja was only seconds behind the two running down the staircase. The couple and their daughter stood outdoors in the snow while the house shook and car alarms rang out.
The couple describe being shocked by the shaking and the strong aftershock that followed around five minutes later.
There was a strange moment of levity in the fear — one of their neighbors on the other side of the street had run out of his house naked, causing hysterical laughter on the part of the neighbor’s father.
After the shaking subsided, Toni said he went inside wearing boots and cleaned up the glass on the floor caused by falling decorations and glass shelves. A week later, and glass continues to be found on the floors.
Jennifer and Toni say they have tried to explain to their preschool-aged daughter as much as possible about the earthquake in the intervening week. After returning to preschool, Jennifer said Sofia had learned that everyone had experienced the earthquake, not just her family.
For now, the family is counting their blessings — damage is limited to a shaken exhaust hood that stripped some drywall, some glass shelves and some glass decorations.
“It’s scary. There’s people in the Jewel Lake area who might spend their whole life savings rebuilding their houses, that’s a worry I can’t imagine happen,” Toni said.