Alaska: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis
In the wake of the severe earthquake that savaged Haiti, one must remember that Alaska faced a similar catastrophe in 1964.
Lasting nearly five minutes, it was the most powerful recorded earthquake in U.S. and North American history, and the second most powerful ever measured by seismograph. It had a magnitude of 9.2, at the time making it the second largest earthquake in the recorded history of the world.
131 people lost their lives in the earthquake, and thousands were left devastated throughout much of the areas hardest hit.
A large tsunami that reached 70 feet high, and travelling at 450 miles an hour slammed into Alaska’s coastline—flooding much of the areas and creating rockslides that resulted in massive property damages. Vertical displacement of the land rose to approximately 38 feet.
Girdwood and Turnagain Arm, were destroyed by subsidence and subsequent tidal action, and 20 miles of the Seward Highway sank below the high-water mark of Turnagain Arm effectively cutting off the southern road system.
[ Alaska Earthquake March 27, 1964. Earthquake-demolished home in Turnagain Heights in Anchorage. 1964. Image file: /htmllib/batch75/batch75j/batch75z/ake00368.jpg ]
In a book titled “We are the earthquake generation” written in 1978 by Jeffrey Goodman, PHD; details startling facts that point to several distinct phenomena that could trigger another Alaska earthquake.
Photo: http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=40289 Downtown Anchorage after the 1964 Earthquake