The most powerful earthquake in U.S. history shook Alaska in 1964 and generated tsunamis that killed more than 100 Alaskans. The ocean's fury swept the town of Valdez off the landscape and transformed the waterfronts of Kodiak, Whittier, Seward, and other Alaska communities into tangled landscapes of devastation. It can happen again.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1964 disaster, this video contains interviews recorded in 2002 and 2003 with some of the men and women who escaped that day's ocean fury. They describe in chilling detail what they saw and the thoughts that raced through their minds on that terrible evening in late march.
Future tsunamis will hit Alaska. Taking its cue from the survivors of 1964, this program explains how scientists, local officials, and emergency responders are working together to reduce the loss of life and property when tsunamis assault Alaska's coast again. With the aid of 3-D computer graphics, scientists describe how different kinds of tsunamis form and how they can travel at jetliner speeds, sometimes striking shorelines with little or no time for escape.
This video was produced by the Alaska SeaGrant College Program and distributed by the University of Alaska Press.