Good Friday Tsunami (1964)

At 5:36 P.M. on March 27, 1964 (Good Friday), one of the most powerful earthquakes on record struck the Gulf of Alaska. The quake, with an epicenter nearly 500 miles from the nearest coast, lasted for three to four minutes and registered 9.6 on the Richter scale. The quake was felt over an area of 500,000 square miles. Earthquake damage in Anchorage was significant, with parts of the downtown area thrust up nearly 30 feet. The earthquake was associated with the development of several tsunamis that are collectively known as the Good Friday tsunami of 1964.

There are two basic forms of tsunami. The first is caused by tectonic activity, such as a powerful earthquake. The second is caused by a submarine landslide. This can be ...

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