Kenai is lucky to have less earthquake damage than Anchorage, town officials say

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Leroy Polk Though the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked Southcentral Alaska last week prompted a tsunami warning in Kenai, officials with the town say the actual damage in the end was not as severe as other areas.

Following the quake and overhaul around the state, the mayor of Kenai, Charlie Pierce, said in a letter Monday that at least for Kenai, the little damage seen there was a stroke of good fortune.

"The Kenai Peninsula was very fortunate to not have severe damage as was seen in the Anchorage area," Pierce wrote in his statement. "Thankfully, no reports of life-threatening injuries."

However, Pierce also addressed some damage to roads, including some to the Kenai Spur Highway in Nikiski, which was closed down partially following the earthquake last week.

"Some Borough buildings and schools had minimal damage, but most of the immediate issues were resolved on Friday," Pierce said. This week, borough officials plan to continue to evaluate structures and ensure the safety of residents and students at the schools.

Repairs will also continue this week as assessment demands. Overall, Kenai considers itself lucky, and said that residents did exactly what they should have done, by heeding the tsunami warnings and by being prepared to evacuate.

"Residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough can help by doing exactly what they did on Friday - by being prepared with emergency supplies," Pierce said.

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