Latest Earthquakes

  • M0.9   at 07:18 AM, 114 mi E of Old Crow
  • M0.9   at 06:48 AM, 3 mi SW of Nikiski
  • M1.2   at 06:31 AM, 16 mi NW of Ninilchik
  • M0.7   at 06:19 AM, 8 mi NE of Willow
  • M2.1   at 06:03 AM, 22 mi NE of Icy Bay

Latest News

Alaska's most recent deadly tsunami struck without warning on November 3, 1994. Witnesses described new steel sheet piles snapping in half as the railway dock, which was being refurbished, suddenly slid away from the shore. One man working under the dock somehow scrambled to safety. Another, Paul Wallin of Homer, was trapped underneath it and then killed by a speeding wall of water and debris.

The undersea landslide was about 600 feet wide, at least 50 feet deep, and composed of anywhere from 1 to 3 million cubic yards of earth. It displaced enough water to generate 20-foot waves that heavily damaged Skagway's ferry terminal and clogged the small boat harbor with debris. Eight hundred feet of the railroad dock had disappeared. 

When we think about tsunamis, most often we imagine a large earthquake moving the seafloor vertically and generating huge, fast-moving waves that can threaten communities hundreds and even thousands of miles away. These are called tectonic tsunamis, and they are a major threat to coastal communities in Alaska. However, landslide-generated tsunamis can be even more dangerous to communities near where they occur.