A 5.7 magnitude earthquake 73 kilometres southwest of Haines, Alaska woke up Yukoners this morning. 

Tracy Harris, who lives near Lake Laberge just outside of Whitehorse, was first alerted that something was up by her chickens.

“They started squawking about 10 seconds before the shaking started and my first thought was ‘Oh my goodness, a fox has gotten into the chicken coop.’”

After that, she says “the chickens went crazy.”

Harris felt the shaking in her house and noticed water sloshing in her water tank.

“It was like being on the lake and your boat was rocking.”


The blue dot shows the epicentre of a 5.7 magnitude earthquake west southwest of Haines, Alaska just before 5 a.m. this morning. (U.S. Geological Survey)

Dean Philpott woke up just before 5 a.m., right before the shaking started.

“While I was laying in the bed, the bed started to shake. I thought it was my son,” he says.  

Philpott lives on the third floor of a condo in Whitehorse.

“I could literally see the building shifting and moving and it must have went on for about three seconds.”

That was long enough for him to start thinking he should get his son up and leave the building.

“What a surreal feeling,” he says. “It made me think, ‘If this is the real deal and this is what an earthquake feels like, what’s next? And I’m so not prepared to make that decision.’”

There have been no reports of damage.

Many Yukoners took to Twitter to find out what had happened and share their stories.