Remembering the Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami

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The most powerful earthquake ever recorded in North America occurred 50 years ago, on March 27, 1964.

With a magnitude of 9.2, “The Great Alaska Earthquake” caused massive tsunamis that devastated the Alaska coastal communities of Valdez, Seward, Kodiak and Whittier, and caused widespread destruction along the U.S. and Canadian west coasts.

The tsunamis caused an estimated $1 billion in damage and killed 124 people in Alaska, California and Oregon. Tsunami waves reached as far away as Hawaii. Scientists even measured a wave height of 219 feet in Valdez Inlet.

The quake lasted approximately four minutes and powerful aftershocks continued for three weeks.

Click here for a remembrance by NOAA of the catastrophic event that includes safety tips learned in the aftermath of the 1964 tsunami.