Fifty Years Ago, One Of The Most Powerful Earthquakes Ever Struck In Alaska

A half-century ago, an earthquake centered just south of Anchorage leveled entire communities but also taught scientists a great deal about the shifting terrain beneath our feet.

On March 27, 1964, a devastating earthquake struck along the Alaska coast near Anchorage, claiming 139 lives and causing millions in damage. The second-most powerful temblor ever recorded, the 9.2 quake caused an underwater landslide, a tsunami and shifted the very landscape, thrusting the terrain upwards by as much as 30 feet in some places. Scientists were also able to learn much about the fledgling field of plate tectonics. In the video below, geologists and other experts -- include one government scientist who was there immediately after the quake struck -- talk about the historic impact of the disaster.


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