Effects of the Earthquake of March 27, 1964 on the Communities of Kodiak and Nearby Islands   [open pdf - 26MB]

"The great earthquake (Richter magnitude of 8.4-8.5) that struck south-central Alaska at 5:36 p.m., Alaska standard time, on March 27, 1964 (03:36, March 28, Greenwich mean time), was felt in every community on Kodiak Island and the nearby islands. It was the most severe earthquake to strike this part of Alaska in modern time, and took the lives of 18 persons ·in the area by drowning; this includes two in Kodiak and three at Kaguyak Property damage and loss of income to the communities is estimated at more than $45 million. The largest community, Kodiak, had the greatest loss from the earthquake. Damnge was caused chiefly by 5.6 feet of tectonic subsidence and a train of 10 seismic sen waves that inundated the low-lying areas of the town. The seismic sea waves destroyed all but one of the docking facilities and more than 215 structures; many other structures were severely damaged. The waves struck the town during the evening hours of March 27 and early morning hours of March 28. They moved from the southwest and northeast and reached their maximum height of 20-30 feet above mean lower low water at Shahafka Cove between 11:00 and 11:45 p.m., March 27. The violently destructive seismic sea waves not only severely damaged homes, shops, and naval station structures but also temporarily crippled the fishing industry in Kodiak by destroying the processing plants and most of the fishing vessels. The waves scoured out 10 feet of sediments in the channel between Kodiak Island and Near Island and exposed bedrock. This bedrock presented a major post-earthquake construction problem because no sediments remained into which piles could be driven for foundations of waterfront facilities."

Report Number:
Geological Survey Professional Paper No. 542-F
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/
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