Congressional Briefing Set on 50 Years of Earthquake Science

On Feb. 28, experts will discuss 50 years' research progress since the March 27, 1964, 9.2 magnitude earthquake in Alaska.

The Great Alaska Earthquake on March 27, 1964, killed 128 people, with most of the deaths caused by a tsunami and local ocean waves. There were deaths recorded from the 9.2 magnitude earthquake in Oregon and California. On Feb. 28 at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Geological Survey and the American Geosciences Institute, American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America, and Seismological Society of America are presenting a congressional briefing about the advances in earthquake science made in the 50 years since that major earthquake.

"Imagine 4.5 minutes of powerful ground shaking underneath you from a magnitude 9.2 earthquake. You and your loved ones are then faced with resulting landslides and a devastating tsunami. You just experienced the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America. In that moment, scientists did not know how or why it occurred," USGS's invitation to the event reads. "That event marked a turning point for earthquake science. Come learn about the great leaps in research over the last 50 years, and the research still underway to understand the remaining mysteries of earthquake hazards. It is essential to start with science, because we can't plan if we don't know what we are planning for."

USGS and the Hazards Caucus Alliance are participating in the briefing, which will begin at 10 a.m . local time. David Applegate and Peter Haeussler of the U.S. Geological Survey, Tom Jordan of the Seismological Society of America, and John Schelling of the Washington State Military Department's Emergency Management Division are scheduled to present.

The earthquake was centered in Prince William Sound, with the epicenter about 70 miles southeast of Anchorage, which suffered extensive damage from the earthquake and subsequent landslides.

@USGSLive will be live-tweeting the event.

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