Earthquake lesson: Teacher's video conference shaken by quake

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Valerie Owens lives in Palmer, where she works out of her home as an online teacher for a junior and senior high school program with students across the country.

Image of Valerie Owens from video conference during last Friday's earthquake (Courtesy Valerie Owens)

Last Friday morning, Valerie gave an unplanned and dramatic lesson about Alaska earthquakes to some of her fellow teachers.

Owens had just started a video conference with other teachers in Idaho, Nebraska and Europe. Just as their video meeting started, the magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit.

"Oh my gosh you guys, we're having a huge, gigantic earthquake in Alaska right now!" Owens is heard saying on the video she later posted to Facebook. "It's huge! It's still going...things are falling in my house!" Owens exclaims.

The video (click above) shows Owens' home shaking from the earthquake. It seems to take her colleagues a few moments to grasp what's happening.

"Are you ok? Oh my gosh Valerie!" one is heard saying.

As the shaking begins to subside, one friend asks "How often do you guys get earthquakes?"

"Not very often," Owens replied. "This was huge. I've felt them a number of times before. Oh my gosh!!"

"Wow...that was crazy to watch! Actually, I'm shaking for you!" one of Owens' fellow teachers said as the quake comes to an an end.

Owens recalled the earthquake and her reaction in a conversation with KTUU Wednesday night.

"I'm not sure it was composure. I didn't think it would be bad at first," Owens said. "Then, when it really got scary, I had no choice but to just hold on."