Alaska December 15, 2017
One Of The Worst Disasters In U.S. History Happened Right Here In Alaska
The Good Friday Earthquake was the most destructive natural disaster in Alaska, and was the most powerful recorded earthquake in U.S. history. It hit on March 27, 1964 and lasted approximately 4.5 minutes. The quake sparked a tsunami that caused even more damage. The damage from these natural disasters is still visible in south central Alaska to this day.
The 1964 Good Friday Earthquake happened on March 27, 1964 at 5:36 p.m. local time. The epicenter was in the Prince William Sound 75 miles east Anchorage and 56 miles west of Valdez.
The quake shook the earth for almost 5 minutes and reached a magnitude of 9.2 mega thrust causing fissures, landslides, extensive damage, and several tsunamis. 139 people tragically died in the quake, the tsunamis, and the mud slide that followed.
Buildings collapsed and many lost their homes, office spaces, and businesses. Temporary housing and facilities were hard to find for all those affected.
The central business district of downtown was completely destroyed. Seidenverg and Kay's, Koslosky's Menswear, and Pioneer Loan were among the businesses destroyed in the disaster.
The earthquake was the largest ever recorded on the North American continent. It was is also the second largest recorded quake on Earth behind the Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960.
Infrastructure like paved streets, sidewalks, water and sewer mains, electrical systems, and other man-made equipment were all significantly damaged city wide.
The railroad tracks and depots were severely damaged which slowed the food supply all over the state.
Flooding was widespread and water soon became a secondary danger as houses and roads flooded when the ground was dropped up to 8 feet in some places.
Valdez, Whittier, Seward, and Kodiak all experienced post-quake tsunamis. Valdez lost the harbor, many of the boats docked at the time, and the entire village of Chenaga.
The Pipeline travels right across the Denali Fault, so extra supports were built-in with ample room for the pipe to move if another major earthquake occurs.
Want to learn more about Alaska’s history? Consider reading
The Flood Of 1967 In Alaska Will Never Be Forgotten or check out The 10 Most Horrifying Natural Disasters That Ever Happened In Alaska.
Did you experience the Good Friday Earthquake? Tell us about it in the comments below.