From the ABC 7 Weather team

50th Anniversary of the largest U.S. Quake in recorded history

March 27, 2014 - 08:05 AM
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At 5:36pm on March 27, 1964, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake struck Alaska's Prince William Sound.

The tweet above is what triggered me to write this blog. It's hard to believe that the 2nd largest earthquake since 1900 was located in Alaska. The only one larger was in 1960 in Chile at 9.5 magnitude.

Our area has recent experience with earthquakes, with Virginia's 5.8 magnitude earthquake in 2011, but historical information shows that the 2011 quake wasn't the only strong one felt in our area over the past couple hundred years.

More earthquake information for the state of Virginia can be found here

Largest Earthquakes since 1900 (Courtesy: USGS)

The National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program has just about every kind of resource on the 1964 quake. Everything from survivor stories, to pictures and videos can be found there as well.

Related: National Tsunami Warning Center

As this is is the tail end of Tsunami Awareness Week, much has been shared over the past week on social media of what a tsunami is, where the high risk areas are, what is the difference between a tsunami watch, warning and advisory, and historical information.

As recent powerful earthquakes and resulting tsunami's in 2004 and 2011 acting as reminders, the White House sent out a message to be prepared, as warning information has greatly improved over the past 50 years.

Although they're not as common on the East Coast, tsunamis still occur, although the highest likelihood in the Atlantic is in the Caribbean. There is a higher risk on the west coast and on the islands that dot the Pacific. In fact, the 1964 Alaska Earthquake resulted in 122 deaths from the tsunami and nine from the earthquake itself. The Great Alaska Shakeout Drill will take place at 1:36pm today.

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