On November 30th, many of the residents of Alaska were struck by something so devastating that it will likely haunt them for the rest of their lives. Many of them were probably just on their way to work or enjoying their morning, expecting nothing unusual to happen. But you don’t receive warnings before a traumatic event.
At 8:29 am, an earthquake hit just 7 miles north of the city of Anchorage. But this wasn’t just any earthquake. It had a magnitude of 7.0 with a depth of 27 miles. And as if that weren’t bad enough, there have been over 1,400 recorded aftershocks so far, 17 which have had a magnitude greater than 4. Just like with life, it seems as though the trouble is never ending. Just when you think all the pain and struggling is over, something else hits, and it’s all you can do to not let it take you down. But there is hope as long as you keep holding on and moving forward.
There has been so much damage caused by all of these earthquakes. Roads and buildings have been destroyed, ruining Anchorage and devastating so many lives. It’s going to take a lot of time, effort, and help in order to restore the city and bring it back to its original grandeur.
But the damage done to the city is nothing compared to the damage done to the people who were involved. Many will go on to suffer from PTSD.
The survivors of the earthquakes have lost so much – some have lost their homes, their jobs, their possessions, and possibly even the lives of others. Those that survived or got out without injuries can begin to feel guilty when there are others that didn’t. That guilt can be a hard thing to live with.
In these places where earthquake aftershocks continue to hit like they are, it’s easy for people to find themselves constantly living in fear. They can’t seem to get a break and be able to catch a breath, and when they do, it’s taken away by yet another aftershock that they have to deal with. The ground has literally been taken out from under them in some places, making it difficult for them to stand up tall once again. With this fear and instability comes panic, setting them up for a lifetime of dealing with PTSD if they don’t get the help that they need.
Natural disasters can cause disasters in people’s well being, which is why it is our job to lend a hand and help in any way that we can. PTSD is a serious matter, and those that experience or are exposed to natural disasters are more likely to be affected. Getting professional help and learning healthy coping mechanisms can make a big difference when it comes to preventing and dealing with PTSD. If you know someone who was affected by the awful earthquakes in Alaska, give them all of your support and encourage them to seek help.