The Earthquake & Tsunami of 1964
Long ago in Seward, on Good Friday, March 27, 1964, the biggest and one of the longest earthquakes recorded in North America hit. The people who survived to tell about it said they didn’t know what it was — it sounded like a bang. One person said he thought Seward was getting bombed. Another said the ground moved like waves.
The earthquake destroyed Seward. It also caused two tsunamis. Mud sliding deep, deep in the water at the head of the Bay caused the first tsunami, which swept over part of Seward with a 30 foot wave. The people of Seward felt really, really scared, especially when they saw the fire. The first fire started when the earthquake toppled some oil tanks. Kaboom! Then half an hour later, a second tsunami came, which was bigger than the first tsunami and going 100 miles per hour.
The tsunami hit so hard, that it made a house lift off its foundation and swirl and swirl. Then, bang! It got jammed between some trees. There was a family in the house. They said it was a real dizzy, scary ride. They were wet and cold, and did not have hats, gloves, snow pants or coats on.
Everybody was frightened and scared, and they tried to leave town. When it was all over, army men came and gave them food, water, and shelter.To make the children calm down, they opened the schools and played games.
Many people left Seward after this tragedy. It took many years to rebuild the town. Today, the town has tsunami sirens and emergency routes so that people can be safe.