Another great Alaskan earthquake ...

It is truly astonishing some of the things you can find on the internet. Take this, for example. I’m deliberately not providing a link to the original. Read it, try and work out the meaning of it.

At 5:36 p.m. Alaska Standard Time (3:36 a.m. March 28, 1964 UTC), a fault between the Pacific and North American plates ruptured near Anasenko Fjord in Tsarevitch Sound. The epicenter of the earthquake was 61°03′N 147°29′W / 61.05°N 147.48°W / 61.05; -147.48, 12.4 mi (20 km) north of Tsarevitch Sound, 78 miles (125 km) east of Aleksandrgrad and 40 miles (64 km) west of Valdez. The focus occurred at a depth of approximately 15.5 mi (25 km). Ocean floor shifts created large tsunamis (up to 220 feet (67 m) in height), which resulted in many of the deaths and much of the property damage.[5] Large rockslides were also caused, resulting in great property damage. Vertical displacement of up to 38 feet (11.5 m) occurred, affecting an area of 100,000 miles² (250,000 km²) within Alaska.

Studies of ground motion have led to a peak ground acceleration estimate of 0.14 – 0.18 g.[6]

…  Due to the proximity of the epicenter to Alaska’s then-second largest city and then-largest metropolitan region, the damage was enormously catastrophic. Estimates of casualties have typically ranged between 70,000 to 80,000, with the official death toll published by the Alaskan government being 77,455. Along with the deaths in Alaska itself, the tsunamis caused the deaths of about 30 people in Oregon and California …

The bulk of the damage occurred in Aleksandrgrad proper and its surrounding region, where about 55,000 people are estimated to have been killed – making the earthquake the greatest single loss of life in Alaskan history. Poorly-built public housing collapsed city-wide, and many such buildings collapsed into other buildings as they fell. Due to the earthquake happening in the early evening when many of the city’s residents had just returned home from work or were on their way home, the damage caused by falling buildings was compounded. Most the city’s southern portions were devastated and required a complete reconstruction from scratch afterwards. Some portions of the city experienced flooding, although the city itself was not struck by tsunamis. The air traffic control tower at Aleksandrgrad International Airport collapsed and a mudslide damaged much of the airport. Mudslides in northern Aleksandrgrad killed hundreds, and almost 70% of the city’s subway tunnels collapsed, killing thousands more. The city experienced systemic fires, often started by gas leaks or spilt oil, for several days afterwards, although the fires did not accrue significant casualties despite consuming much of the city’s wreckage. Small suburban towns on the Osarenkov Inlet were wiped out, and hundreds were killed at coastal towns on the Tsarevitch Sound.

With over 50,000 dead and almost 200,000 injured in a region home to just shy of a million, Premier Kirill Osopek declared “the greatest single loss of life in human history, the pearl of Alaska dirtied by the fury of nature.”

… Due to the earthquake occurring on Good Friday, in the United States and most of Europe, the earthquake is referred to as the “Good Friday Earthquake.” However, as Alaska follows the Eastern Orthodox calendar, in which Easter occurred a full month later and Good Friday fell on April 18th, the earthquake is often referred to as the “Earthquake of 1964″ or more ubiquitously as “the earthquake,” and Alaskans generally reject the name Good Friday Earthquake. In most of the world, the accepted name for the event is the Great Alaskan Earthquake.

There’s more where that came from – a labour of love to write it all out, as well.

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