7.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Alaska

Posted on January 14, 2019 by


On 30 November 2018, Anchorage, Alaska was struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake at 8:29 a.m. The earthquake ruined the lives of many due to loss of businesses and homes. The earthquake caused landslides and cracked highways along with over 1,000 aftershocks.

This is the second destructive earthquake to date in Alaska, the largest being in 1964. It is known as the “Great Alaska Earthquake,” and it had a magnitude of 9.2, lasting for 4.5 minutes. It was the deadliest, killing 139 people, with the formation of a 220-foot tsunami.

Earthquakes are not uncommon in Alaska, considering the statistics are 1,000 earthquakes each month. The magnitude of these can range from 1-7. The reason why this earthquake made news was the extent of the damage. A state seismologist, Mark West, called it “the most significant” to rock Alaska since 1964.

Right after the earthquake, the state of Alaska declared a health emergency. There were no disease outbreaks or severe health problems, but the Human and Health Services Secretary wanted to make sure medicaid funds continue despite the fact that businesses were closed.

The cost of the aftermath is about $30 million and counting in Anchorage. The water lines burst, roads cracked, and public schools and buildings became hazardous. Alaska is having issues reconstructing buildings due to the weather, so construction will have to wait until the spring.

Scientists recommend that homeowners test their home for radon, an odorless gas linked to lung cancer. The earthquake could have allowed radon to escape through ground fissures. The exposure will be over time, but it is recommended that short-term radon testing kits are purchased.

On the bright side, the highways that were wrecked were fixed within a few days. Even though the temperature in Alaska was close to 25-degrees Fahrenheit, with only six hours of sunlight, this did not stop road workers from completing the job. The Federal Highway Administration sent five million dollars to help aid the reconstruction.

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