45th Anniversary of the Great Alaskan Earthquake
Contact: Genevieve Maurits
At 5:35 p.m. on March 27, 1964, the largest earthquake in the United States shook Alaska for nearly five minutes. Registered as a magnitude 9.2, the effects of the earthquake were felt across the globe; ground liquefaction in Anchorage, flooding in Hawaii, tsunamis from Prince William Sound to California, even sloshing wells in Africa.
Resulting in 131 deaths and monetary damages totaling $300 - $400 million dollars (1964 dollars), the President declared a disaster situation in Alaska on March 28, 1964. This declaration allowed the federal government to provide assistance with recovery efforts and resulted in the addition of monitoring stations and policy changes that are in use today. For example, the West Coast & Alaska Tsunami Warning Center was established as a direct result of the 1964 earthquake. Anchorage seismic building codes were put in place due to the severity of structural damages the earthquake caused.
As we remember the Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964, the Municipality of Anchorage Office of Emergency Management reminds citizens to be prepared for all disasters that Anchorage residents face. The top three disasters Anchorage citizens are at risk of are earthquakes, severe winter storms and wildfires.
Three simple steps can help prepare you and your family for the next disaster.
- Get a kit
- Make a plan
- Be informed
Emergency preparedness websites: