Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami, 1964

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The 1964 Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake and the resulting tsunami struck with out warning on Good Friday, March 27.

It was a peaceful spring day in Anchorage, a vacation. Temperatures ended up seasonably mild with a reasonable amount of snow on the ground. Young children had the day off from college, and consumer traffic in the stores downtown was light. A lot of citizens have been getting ready or enjoying dinner at home. At 5:36 p.m. a major earthquake started to shake the ground, and the earth beneath Southcentral Alaska moved in waves for the up coming 4 extended minutes.

Mother and father and kids slipped, stumbled and fell on shifting floors in a panicked effort to get outdoors to escape breaking windows. Two inch cracks appeared in the ground in a lot of spots. Roads wrinkled and split and Fourth Avenue in downtown Anchorage broke apart and collapsed ten feet or more. The Government Hill Elementary School twisted, shifted and became unusable in a moment. The exterior wall of the J.C. Penney developing crashed to the road. In the Turnagain residential district the ground liquefied like quicksand, slid away, and swallowed up 75 or a lot more properties.

The 4 moment earthquake launched the power approximately equivalent to 10 million instances the force of an atomic bomb. The mass of the earth and ocean absorbed most of the force, but manmade structures in the region could not absorb the relaxation of the force without having suffering huge damage. Complete residence damage was estimated at $500 million.

Anchorage was crippled as gasoline lines and drinking water lines had been severed abruptly. Residents resorted to melting snow for water while awaiting repairs. 4 days later students returned to accessible educational institutions as everyday living in Anchorage began to recover.

The Earthquake

The center of the Alaska earthquake was positioned about seventy five miles east of Anchorage and about fifty five miles west of Valdez. It started 14 to sixteen miles deep in the earth's crust, a comparatively shallow depth, where the Pacific plate dives beneath the North American plate. The enormous subduction zone is found at the north finish of the Ring of Fire, a semicircle of volcanic and earthquake activity that defines the rim of the Pacific Ocean.

The earthquake fault, a lot more exactly the thrust fault, which was the cause of the Very good Friday earthquake stretched 750 miles from Alaska's Aleutian Islands to Valdez. The Pacific plate that day moved an believed twenty five to 30 feet northward, diving beneath the North American plate. The grinding of the two substantial tectonic plates triggered the Alaska earthquake and measured eight.4 on the Richter scale. In later on years the measurement of the Alaska earthquake was upgraded to nine.two on the Mw, or minute magnitude, scale as the Richter scale was determined to be inaccurate at measuring extremely huge earthquakes over eight.. Within a day of the original key earthquake 11 more tremors of 6. or greater shook an already nervous population. In truth, aftershocks continued for virtually a year.

The earthquake induced the ground to displace upward by as considerably as twenty five feet on many Alaskan islands and by practically 3 feet upward at the town of Valdez. In other locations the ground displaced downward as considerably as nine feet, for illustration in the town of Portage.

The Alaska earthquake on Great Friday was the strongest earthquake ever recorded in North The united states. It was the second strongest ever before recorded around the world, surpassed in strength by the 9.5 Mw earthquake in Chile on Could 22, 1960. The modern December 26, 2004, earthquake off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra measured nine. Mw. The deadliest earthquake occurred in Shensi Province, China, in 1556 where more than 830,000 citizens perished.

The Tsunami

Tsunamiis an adapted Japanese phrase meaning "port wave," a reference to the truth that the wave's danger and destructive energy only become evident as it approaches the shore.

During the 1964 Alaska earthquake the North American plate introduced upward, displacing a huge volume of ocean drinking water and leading to a seismic wave, a tsunami, to travel outward. The wave traveled at an approximated 450 miles per hour in the deeper ocean in a extended wave of virtually imperceptible height.

As the tsunami wave handed above the continental shelf and approached shore its duration shortened, its speed decreased and its height improved as the substantial volume and excess weight of drinking water prepared to release its outstanding power on something in its route.

At the shallow Valdez Inlet the wave arrived at a optimum height of practically 200 feet. Additionally on, at the outdated town of Valdez, a 30 foot wall of water struck and demolished all structures. 20 8 Valdez residents died when the tsunami crashed ashore. Valdez was later on rebuilt at a larger elevation and further from the waterfront.

In Seward, Alaska, the earthquake triggered a portion of the bay to slide. The slide caused a local tsunami which devastated Seward's port and downtown district, each of which had been at some point rebuilt. Twelve residents perished in Seward.

The tiny city of Portage was leveled by its individual nearby tsunami and never relocated or rebuilt. Another nearby tsunami struck the tiny port of Whittier killing 12 citizens.

The Destruction

The authentic tsunami traveled about 8400 miles. It caused injury in the Hawaiian Islands and along the Oregon and California coasts. A 20 foot wave struck Crescent Town, California, and killed ten citizens. The tsunami was responsible for the deaths of 16 individuals in Oregon and California.

The tsunami killed a total of 122 individuals in 3 states. By comparison, the earthquake resulted in 9 fatalities.

It has been much more than 40 many years considering that the Alaska earthquake and tsunami. In the meantime building resources and developing practices have been enforced to make structures more capable of surviving sturdy earthquakes. Also in the meantime, the population in Alaska's vulnerable regions has increased tremendously.

Smaller earthquakes along Alaska's subduction zone and other fault zones happen on a everyday foundation, presumably relieving the internal pressures that would or else create yet another huge earthquake.

Nonetheless, nobody is aware with certainty when, exactly where, or no matter whether an additional enormous and harmful earthquake will strike Alaska.

Water Damage Whittier

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