Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964

  1. #1
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    tustumena & kasilof
    Posts
    899

    Default The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964

    March 27 is coming up soon so its a good time to remember this important Alaskan historical event. This was a time when the rich flavor of old Alaska still reigned supreme and it was a given a neighbor could count on a neighbor in times of need and natural disaster. The oil industry was yet in its infancy as compared to today. Timber and commercial fishing were important mainstays of the economy and of course federal government employment. There was a general feeling that we as Alaskans were somehow different than the rest of the nation. We were strong, independent and fiercely proud. We pulled together in times of adversity. We were different. It was an outstanding time to be in Alaska, it seemed everybody knew everybody. I was only 10 years old but I remember the earthquake, the devastation, lives lost, and the rebuilding.

    On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 p.m. ADT (03:36 3/28 UTC) a great earthquake of magnitude 9.2 (moment magnitude) occurred in Prince William Sound region of Alaska. The epicenter was about 10 km east of the mouth of College Fiord, approximately 90 km west of Valdez and 120 km east of Anchorage. The epicenter was located at Lat. 61.04N, Lon. 147.73W, at a depth of approximately 25 km. This earthquake is the second largest earthquake ever recorded in the world. after a M9.5 earthquake in Chile in 1960. The duration of rupture lasted approximately 4 minutes (240 seconds).

    As a result of the 1964 quake, the Latouche Island area moved about 18 meters to the southeast. Also, the patterns of uplift and subsidence which had been slowly developing prior to the earthquake were suddenly reversed, with areas around Montague Island being uplifted 4-9 meters and areas around Portage down-dropped as much as 3 meters. The hinge line (line of no vertical change separating the uplift and subsidence zones) extended from near the epicenter in Prince William Sound to the SE coast of Kodiak Island. This vertical deformation affected and area of approximately 250,000 km2 (100,000 miles2). The end results was the movement of the Pacific plate under the North American plate by about 9 meters on average.

    http://www.aeic.alaska.edu/quakes/Al...arthquake.html

  2. #2
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    tustumena & kasilof
    Posts
    899

    Default

    Before the earthquake what is called "slackwater" today at the upper portion of the Kasilof River actually had a pretty good current to it. In one of our family films from that era, my dad filmed boating through present-day slackwater on a Tustumena moose hunt, I think it was about 1962 or so, and it is noticeable the difference that the river used to flow there.

    The general consensus from talking to oldtimers is the 1964 earthquake raised the outlet of Tustumena Lake and uppermost Kasilof River and lowered the far end of Tustumena Lake around the old Andrew Berg cabin near Indian Creek.

  3. #3
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    tustumena & kasilof
    Posts
    899

    Default

    Heres a good photo reflecting some of the damage in downtown Anchorage. I remember seeing a sign somewhere, can't remember now if it was in a photo or on the building, that said "Closed For Early Breakup" on a destroyed business... being a humorous play on words of course for a muddy spring.

    4thavenue.jpg

  4. #4
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    tustumena & kasilof
    Posts
    899

    Default

    Heres a 5 minute video with historical footage of the earthquake.


  5. #5
    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,174

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tustumena_lake View Post
    Heres a good photo reflecting some of the damage in downtown Anchorage. I remember seeing a sign somewhere, can't remember now if it was in a photo or on the building, that said "Closed For Early Breakup" on a destroyed business... being a humorous play on words of course for a muddy spring.

    4thavenue.jpg
    That's odd ! Your picture seems to have been printed backcwards. The NORTH side of 4th Avenue dropped, and the McKinly building used to be to the EAST and of that street, next to the Blue Mirror lounge . . . . . I remember the ground rolling in waves, much like the sea, with a diffference that appeared to six feet between "crests" and "troughs."

  6. #6
    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,174

    Default

    I recall that Lowell Thomas, Jr., was flying his father's Cessna 180 (you remember, the one with all the foreign country flags on it) from Anchorage to Fairbanks when he heard about the 'quake on his airplane radio. He turned around and flew back, but couldn't find his own home. He lived in Turnagain by the Sea, and it had slipped over the hill toard the inlet. Lost his cat, too, I think . . .

  7. #7
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    5,272

    Default

    Yep......a good friend went through it. Told me about standing on his folks front porch and watching a crack open up and come right at him, going right under the porch at his feet. He said he remembered seeing the tips of the trees almost touching the ground from being shaken back and forth so violently. His folks and sister were in town and he told me how he tried to drive to go and find them. One of the first things he did was get stuck trying to jump his car over a large crack in the road. Luckily they all survived unharmed.

  8. #8
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    tustumena & kasilof
    Posts
    899

    Default

    Heres the second half of the video "Though the earth be moved". It starts out with a shot of the Penney's building that collapsed in Anchorage and covers the first few days of responce.



  9. #9
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    tustumena & kasilof
    Posts
    899

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post
    I recall that Lowell Thomas, Jr., was flying his father's Cessna 180 (you remember, the one with all the foreign country flags on it) from Anchorage to Fairbanks when he heard about the 'quake on his airplane radio. He turned around and flew back, but couldn't find his own home. He lived in Turnagain by the Sea, and it had slipped over the hill toard the inlet. Lost his cat, too, I think . . .
    Thanks Grizzly 2, I found a photo of that house, well what was left of it, that was taken just after the earthquake at this link.
    http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm4/item_vi...TR=8306&REC=26

  10. #10
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    tustumena & kasilof
    Posts
    899

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Yep......a good friend went through it. Told me about standing on his folks front porch and watching a crack open up and come right at him, going right under the porch at his feet. He said he remembered seeing the tips of the trees almost touching the ground from being shaken back and forth so violently. His folks and sister were in town and he told me how he tried to drive to go and find them. One of the first things he did was get stuck trying to jump his car over a large crack in the road. Luckily they all survived unharmed.
    Yes, thats what my older sister remembers too about the treetops almost touching with the ground shaking so violently. I remember the aftershocks going on for several days even after the big one. It was the earthquake that wouldn't go away !

  11. #11
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    tustumena & kasilof
    Posts
    899

    Default

    Interesting interview of earthquake survivor.


  12. #12
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    5,272

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tustumena_lake View Post
    Heres the second half of the video "Though the earth be moved". It starts out with a shot of the Penney's building that collapsed in Anchorage and covers the first few days of responce.
    I'm also a HAM radio operator. Not long ago I talked to a great old boy (via radio) that I think was in OR. He is in his nineties. After the quake, word got out that he was in contact with another HAM op in AK. He told me he relayed hundreds of messages on his radio between worried loved ones in the lower 48, to another HAM op here in AK. He said it was quite an experience to go through.

  13. #13
    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    tustumena & kasilof
    Posts
    899

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    One of the first things he did was get stuck trying to jump his car over a large crack in the road. Luckily they all survived unharmed.
    Well I'm pleased it turned out okay for them and I bet it looked something like this !


    683.jpg

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •