Conference Looks Back at 1964 Quake

The 2014 National Conference on Earthquake Engineering is taking place this week in Anchorage, Alaska's Dena'ina Convention Center. Naturally, one of the plenary sessions is about the March 1964 earthquake and tsunami, which killed 139 people and caused extensive damage in Anchorage and the surrounding region. Three speakers in the July 22 plenary will discuss the 9.2 magnitude earthquake, which occurred in Prince William Sound off the coast of Alaska, and the scientific and engineering developments that resulted from the earthquake

This conference is hosted every four years by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. FEMA is a major financial sponsor of this year's July 21-25 event, which includes nearly 800 presentations, tours to explore local scenery affected by the earthquake, and an optional, four-day tour that departs after the conference.

The July 23 plenary session is titled "Mega Disasters: Planning and Design for an Unsettled Planet." One of the presenters, Cornell University Professor Tom O'Rourke (the institute's 2003-04 president), will explore the causes for the increasing risk of mega disasters, the effects of mega disasters on critical infrastructure, and measures for improving infrastructure resilience against them.

The "Resilient Communities" July 25 plenary session will feature two speakers, one discussing building resilience into existing infrastructure and the other discussing rebuilding resilience after the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes.

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