1964 Great Alaskan Earthquake

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Looking down at Seward from Mt. Marathon (above), we we imagined what this place looked like in 1964, when a tsunami washed over the city after the second-largest earthquake in recorded history hit Alaska. On March 27, 1964, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake hit between Anchorage and Valdez. Within minutes, tsunami waves started to wash over Seward. The largest wave was 30-38 feet high, and the waves continued for 8 hours. We heard that the tsunami would have been much larger had the islands at the outskirts of Resurrection Bay not broken the wave up.

An estimated 139 people died, mostly in tsunami floods, including 16 across the Oregon and California coastlines.

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Above is a photo of Seward after the tsunami, from this Atlantic article about the earthquake:

The Atlantic: Alaska’s Good Friday Earthquake

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Oil tanks in Seward burned in the aftermath of the earthquake.

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