Friday, June 19, 2009

Alaska Tidbit, Part 3

Can you believe I forgot to note that we experienced an earthquake? Even in my handwritten journal! I was only reminded by the show on the National Geographic Channel right now (called Extreme Alaska). The earthquake we felt was only for a second or two and it bumped the house and rattled some furniture. I felt it significantly and heard the furniture. But it was so brief that The Fisherman didn't notice it. To him it was one of those things he attributed to a big truck rumbling past and hitting a bump in the road or something. We were in different parts of our friends' house in Cooper Landing at the time so maybe I felt it more.

Alaska comprises 1% of the earth's total land surface but experiences 11% of the world's total earthquakes. Thankfully, because there is such a small population relative to it's size, Alaska earthquakes don't often have devastating effects. The NGC show was describing the Good Friday Earthquake around 1964. It was a 9.something and is the 2nd largest earthquake ever in the world. It did a ton of damage and over 100 people died. In Anchorage some neighborhoods slid off hillsides and were buried with mudslides. Downtown the pavement broke right down 4th Ave., one side rising some 30 feet above the other. 90% of the town of Seward slid into the water. Today, Seward sits on Resurrection Bay and many businesses contain the name Phoenix, noting how the town was reborn and resurrected after the earthquake. A giant tsunami hit the town of Valdez, located at the end of a bay; afterwards, city planners wisely rebuilt and relocated the town along the side of the bay.

To read about the Good Friday Earthquake and see photos, go to this site.

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