204-1964 Earthquake – Anchorage, Alaska

On March 27, 1964 (Good Friday) a massive earthquake registering 8.6 on the Richter Scale hit the Anchorage area. This quake was the largest to have ever hit the United States in recorded history, and one of the largest known worldwide. Geologically, the effects were widespread and dramatic. Large areas were lifted up or dropped by several feet, landslides were extensive, ground failure led to large fissures in the ground, and landslides into bays caused tsunami damage thousands of miles away. Luckily, the casualties were considerably lighter than might be expected for a disaster of this magnitude. 115 deaths are attributed to the quake. This relatively low number can be attributed to the sparse population of the area and the fact that the quake occurred when most people were at home.

I wanted to compare the historical photos of the quake with current conditions in downtown Anchorage. I took copies of the old photos and stood in the street until I got the proper perspective.