"The devastating effects of earthquakes are well known in Alaska. The great March 27, 1964 (Good Friday), Alaska earthquake shook the ground for more than 4 minutes over a 50,000-square-mile zone of destruction and caused 131 deaths and as much as $500 million (1964 dollars) in property damage. This magnitude 9.2 event, the largest earthquake ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere, left scars on the landscape that are still visible today. Much work has been done since 1964 to mitigate the damaging effects of earth-quakes, both in Alaska and nationwide. For example, earthquake monitoring networks have been established with real-time reporting capabilities, probabilistic seismic-hazard assessments have been performed, building-code seismic provisions have been updated and adopted, and emergency-response plans have been developed and practiced. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and cooperating organizations have pursued extensive earthquake research in Alaska and else-where, but despite all these advances, further progress is needed, particularly in the area of earthquake engineering of structures."
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/