On Good Friday, March 27, 1964, North America's biggest earthquake, and the world's second biggest earthquake, hit Anchorage, Alaska. Registering 9.2 on the Richter scale, the quake lasted almost 4 minutes and could be felt as far away as Prince Rupert, 800 miles to the south. Post-quake landslides, tsunamis and fires led to more deaths and property damage in not only Anchorage but other cities like Whittier, Seward and Kodiak. Property damage, assessed at 300 million in 1964 dollars, was sustained by homes and businesses and schools; the five-story JC Penny store was levelled. Property damage was also recorded in B.C., Oregon and California. Aftershocks, felt as far away as Hawaii and Japan lasted for one year after the initial earthquake. Sadly, nine people died directly from the earthquake followed by 115 from tsunamis, floods and landslides resulting from the quake.
Photo of Fourth Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska on March 27, 1964 courtesy http://upload.wikimedia.org.