As residents of the peninsula went to high ground to protect themselves from a potential tsunami, they were in luck that the motion of this earthquake was largely horizontal and not vertical. Rail lines were bent like licorice sticks and twisted into knots. The Great Alaska Earthquake lasted for nearly five minutes and registered a magnitude of 9.2, still the largest ever recorded in North America and … What we know about the quake: A 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked buildings in Anchorage on Friday morning. The Great Alaska Earthquake lasted for nearly five minutes and registered a magnitude of 9.2, still the largest ever recorded in North America and second only to the 9.5-magnitude quake that struck Chile in 1960. Magnitude six and seven earthquakes can nearly happen anywhere in Alaska. To mimic the scenario fill your bathtub up with water and place both hands side by side and flat underwater. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the USGS event page, and for estimates of casualties and damage, visit the USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) website. I am the founder of Science Trends, a leading source of science news and analysis on everything from climate change to cancer research. Geologists have now determined that the Pacific Plate pushes against the North American continent at the rate of 2.3 inches per year, and when the irresistible force finally overwhelmed the immovable object on Good Friday in 1964, it slid underneath the continental plate and violently unleashed centuries of pent-up energy in the Great Alaska Earthquake. With little warning under the cover of darkness around midnight, waves more than 14 feet above tidal height flooded 29 blocks of Crescent City, California, and killed 11. Rapidly move one hand up and one hand down and you’ll notice you will create a wave. Officials issued, and later canceled, a tsunami warning for southern Alaska … Alaska earthquake of 1964, earthquake that occurred in south-central Alaska on March 27, 1964, with a moment magnitude of 9.2. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Anchorage was severely damaged in March 1964 by the Great Alaska Earthquake, a 9.2-magnitude quake with its epicenter about 75 miles east of the city. The shaking left behind destruction of truly seismic proportions. In the first day alone, 11 aftershocks with magnitudes of greater than 6.0 shook the state. Alaska Earthquake that struck July 21, 2020. 2018 Anchorage earthquake. Lasting four minutes and thirty-eight seconds, the magnitude 9.2 megathrust earthquake remains the most powerful earthquake recorded in North American history, and the second most powerful earthquake recorded in © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. a witness in Homer, Alaska, 400 miles from the epicenter, said on the quake monitoring website msc-csem.org. Telephone poles snapped like matchsticks. Groaning buildings buckled. The powerful earthquake even permanently altered the Alaskan landscape. Shaking was felt across the peninsula as well as light shaking in Kodiak and Anchorage, 530 miles from the epicenter. All Rights Reserved. The Great Alaska earthquake struck at 5:36 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on March 27, 1964. Southern Alaska has had: (M1.5 or greater) 15 earthquakes in the past 24 hours 124 earthquakes in the past 7 days; 453 earthquakes in the past 30 days Short video (4 min) by Stephen Wessells, USGS relating how the largest quake in U.S. history had profound and lasting impacts on our lives. Geodetic surveys found that much of the state’s southern coastline moved seaward by more than 50 feet. Across south-central Alaska, ground fissures, collapsing structures, and tsunamis resulting from the earthquake caused about 131 deaths. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Life magazine reported at the time that the earthquake contained 400 times the total energy of all nuclear bombs ever exploded up to 1964. The earthquake epicenter was located southeast off the coast of the Aleutian Island chain 65 miles from Perryville, Alaska. The seven miles long and … Click on a given earthquake to view the … (Following the earthquake, towns such as Seward, Valdez and Chenega were moved to safer ground.). Summary of the earthquake’s cause and effects from the Alaska Earthquake Information Center. Its epicentre was in Northridge, a suburb located about 20 miles (32 km) west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles.The major shock lasted 10–20 seconds and registered a magnitude of 6.7. This subduction between the two plates produces earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountains from Mexico to Alaska. We reported over 220,000 earthquakes in Alaska over the last five years. For more than a year following the devastating earthquake, thousands of aftershocks rattled the frayed nerves of Alaskans. Videos. The earthquake was centered in the Pacific Ocean about 60 miles southeast of Perryville on the sparsely populated Alaska Peninsula, striking around 10:12 p.m. local time (2:12 a.m. Wednesday ET). Powerful earthquake hits near Alaska 00:32. Along Anchorage’s Fourth Avenue, which dropped 20 feet, basements became first floors. Below are earthquakes from the last 48 hours. The earthquake centered 75 miles east of Anchorage caused the ground of south central Alaska to heave and convulse. Scientists learned more about soil liquefaction and tidal waves, which spurred the development of the National Tsunami Warning Center. A monster wave more than 200 feet tall knifed through the Valdez Inlet before slamming into the Alaskan coastline. Magnitude 9.2: The 1964 Alaska Earthquake. The Alaska Earthquake of 1964. With the underground focus of the tremor just 25 miles below the surface, damaging waves reached the Alaska city of nearly 300,000 less than 13 seconds after the initial rupture. The earthquake’s hypocenter was 17 miles below the surface of the Earth, fairly shallow when it comes to earthquake depths. The earthquake, which struck at 10:12 pm local time Tuesday night, did not cause any significant damage on land. Felt like a very long quake!" Water sloshed in harbors as far away as Louisiana, where several fishing boats capsized as a result. Alaska Earthquake that struck July 21, 2020. In 1964, Alaska suffered the strongest earthquake in U.S. history when a 9.2 rocked the state. The sparseness of the Alaskan population kept both numbers low in spite of the earthquake’s power. In Seward, the earthquake had ruptured oil tanks that were set ablaze, and when the tsunami arrived, it created a terrifying wave of fire. Trees whipped so viciously that their tops touched the ground. Look back at the 9.2-magnitude earthquake, the largest ever recorded in North America, which shook Alaska 50 years ago. The tsunamis even caused damage as far away as Hawaii and Japan. The earthquake that began a dozen miles deep under Prince William Sound sparked submarine landslides that triggered catastrophic tsunamis. How long did the 2018 Alaska earthquake last? Let's connect @trevornace, © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. 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