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News Release

February 24, 2014
Amelia  Barrales 650-329-5136

The 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami

 50th Anniversary

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Free USGS Public Lecture February 27 

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MENLO PARK, Calif. — On March 27th, 1964, the second largest instrumentally recorded earthquake worldwide rocked southern Alaska for 4 to 5 minutes. In addition to the earthquake, the event triggered a major tsunami that caused casualties and damage from the Kodiak Islands to northern California. 

For the 50th Anniversary, USGS Geologist Emeritus, George Plafker will review major effects of the earthquake with emphasis on the landslides and ground failures due to the unusually long seismic shaking. Landslides, and the waves they generated, destroyed all the ports and most of the small boat harbors and were responsible for most of the casualties

That event marked a turning point for earthquake science. Come learn about the great leaps in research over the last 50 years, and the research still underway to understand the remaining mysteries of earthquake hazards.


George Plafker, USGS Geologist Emeritus


Slide-show-illustrated presentation: “The 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami
– 50th Anniversary”


Thursday, February 27th, 2014
12 p.m. —Lecture preview for USGS employees and news media representatives
7 p.m.—Public lecture open to all

(both presentations will be live-streamed over the Internet)


U.S. Geological Survey
Building 3 Auditorium, second floor
345 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025

More info and directions:

USGS Evening Public Lecture Series
Menlo Park Campus Map

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