EARTHQUAKE! by Eloise Engle


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The 1964 quake hit Alaska on March 27, Good Friday. It released 200,000 megatons of energy, 2000 times that of the biggest nuclear explosion. It changed the face of Alaska forever Anchorage, with half the wealth of the state and 104,000 in-habitants, was thoroughly shaken up; Kodiak Island felt the power of the tsunamis, the people of Valdez were stranded without water, electricity, communication. In the Anchorage suburb of Turn-again-by-the Sea, Mary Louise Rasmussen, wife of the present mayor, watched the land change, as did a real estate agent who in the process of selling a house discovered Was no longer there--much of the suburb slid into the sea. In answer to disaster, Operation Helping Hand in the military took over, restoring communications and transportation, airlifting Bailey bridges, food, people. President Johnson put the Office of Emergency Planning to work and set up the Federal Reconstruction and Development Planning Commision for Alaska. Today the welcome mat is out once again to tourists, and Alaskans can smile about their future. Miss Engle really does not make much of all this. Her routine, uninspired coverage includes anecdotes which do not bring alive with appendices, and a perspective of other major quakes in history. Brief, it also tends to be sketchy, but should have a regional interest.

Pub Date: July 13th, 1966
Publisher: John Day