There is one event in Alaskan history that will never be forgotten. Of all the natural events that have occurred in the last hundred years here in our state, the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake is one that most remember above all the rest. It has been reported that the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake did around 311 million dollars worth of damage. At 5:36 pm, the earthquake struck and lasted for a total of four minutes and thirty two seconds. This 9.2 magnitude 1964 earthquake in Alaska is said to be the most powerful in North American history. On top of that, it is said to be the second most powerful earthquake to have ever occurred in the entire world. Set north of Prince William Sound and east of Anchorage, the epicenter of this massive earthquake was way too close to home for residents throughout South-Central Alaska. Alaska weather should never be underestimated!

But it was the tsunami aftermath of the earthquake that was what really did all the damage. Waves up to 220 feet (as well as major rock-slides) resulted in extreme property damage and claimed the lives of far too many men, women and children. Almost all of the residents throughout the entire village of Chenega were killed as well as many in Whittier, Seward and Kodiak. Many other communities were effected as well. The total death toll ended up being roughly 139 people. And afterwards? The rebuilding process was truly one of the most overwhelmingly heart wrenching experiences in every Alaskan’s life. Because earthquakes in Alaska make up 11% of the world’s earthquakes annually, these natural occurrences are one of the top dangers of Alaska!

Do you remember the 1964 earthquake in Alaska? Was it anything like our most recent one in 2019? If you’ve experienced both, make sure to let us know in the comments below!

Are you captivated by historic footage of Alaska? Check out this rare footage World War Two from 1942 and be prepared for a blast from the past.

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1964 Earthquake In Alaska

How many earthquakes happen per day in Alaska?

On average, Alaska experiences 100 earthquakes per day. That average is being shifted after the last two years, however. In 2018 there was a record breaking 54,000 earthquakes in Alaska during that year. 2019 came in right behind at the second highest year for earthquakes with 50,289 quakes. Alaska accounts for 75% of the earthquakes in the United States, and 11% of the earthquakes world-wide. In the past five years, Alaska has seen over 220,000 earthquakes. Three of the six largest earthquakes in recorded history took place in our incredible state. 

Where do most earthquakes occur in Alaska?

There are two plates, the Pacific and North American plates, that are constantly at war with each other under the state of Alaska. The Pacific plate slides under the North American one, creating faults that show up as cracks in the earth during an earthquake. The boundaries of these plates are where you’ll see higher than average amount of earthquakes: Southcentral Alaska,  the Interior of Alaska, and the Aleutian Chain. There are four pretty active faults in Alaska that run near these hot spot zones: The Salcha, Fairbanks, Minto, and Denali faults. This is where you will see more of the earthquakes happen on average in Alaska.