On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 p.m., about 74 miles southeast of Anchorage in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, was struck by a magnitude 9.2 earthquake, the second largest recorded, and the most significant in North America. With a duration of at least four minutes, the quake causes soil liquefaction landslides, and witnesses described hearing a loud grinding sound and saw the ground opening and closing before them.
Right after the tremors ended, devastating tsunamis were triggered, leaving residents no time to flee for higher ground. The largest waves were over 200 feet tall.
During the next weeks, thousands of strong aftershocks continued ─some of them reached a magnitude of 6.2 or more.
The consequences were not only measured by human loses, with a death toll of 131 people but also geological ─Alaska coast sank up to eight feet, other parts rose up to 38 feet, and the coast moved 50 feet towards the ocean─ and economical ─ it’s estimated a loss of $284 million in today’s dollars in property damages.
Nevertheless, this tragedy created a deep awareness about earthquakes, and experts created a broad earthquake-monitoring system that not only helped them to gather data from the quake but also allow to predict future earthquakes and potential damage and give engineers the opportunity of developing earthquake-resistant structures to limit future casualties and property damage.
Also, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (formerly called the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center) was created to alert people when a widespread tsunami is possible. This system teaches coastal citizens to run for higher ground at the first sign of strong tremors.
As you can see, nature has enormous power, and in the case of earthquakes, preparedness is the key to reduce possible damages. SkyAlert can be a useful tool that will help you to reduce damage in this kind of natural event.
Image from: U.S. Navy/NOAA