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Kodiak, Alaska

The Great Earthquake

March 27, 1964

My father-in-law was a young man, here pictured with his mother, living in Kodiak during the Great Quake of 1964. This devastating quake measured a whopping magnitude 9.2 on the revised Richter scale and destroyed a good portion of coastal Alaska and Hawaii. Quake totals in Kodiak were: 8 deaths, 158 homes destroyed and $31 million in damages.

He stood on high ground and watched the tsumani sweep in and wash away the boats and town site. His fishing boat was washed out and back 3 times before being claimed by the sea. Below is a series of his photos showing the aftermath. First photo is his boat, that was lost in the quake.



Below is the Hekla, a fishing boat that was righted, put on wheels and towed back to the ocean. Yes, it floated again!



Trees and everything else along the coast was ripped away, and boats were parked in inappropriate places. Below is an 88 foot long, 24 foot wide ship that took 3 months to move back to the water--it too floated again! You can see the scaffolding in place under her in this photo.



Boats were scattered far and wide, some blocking the roads! Here the Mary Ruby sits between the 'Show House' and the Mecca Bar.



Below are two other fishing boats tossed up on the bank. The white one, the 'Yukon,' lived to fish another day. As for the one with the gaping hole...the engine was salvaged and the rest scrapped.



And Kodiak did recover! Within one month, 11 of the town's 14 bars were rebuilt.

To vicariously experience an earthquake, click on the button below!



Click for Kodiak, Alaska Forecast


For links to more quake photos and other information, check out the USGS Seismic Studies site.

More Alaska Pictures