WHEREAS, every life is precious, Alaskan’s safety is the highest priority, and in times of natural disaster the loss of life leaves a devastating impact; and
WHEREAS, March 27, 2019 marks the 55th anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake and subsequent tsunamis that devastated Southcentral Alaska and affected other parts of the world. With a magnitude of 9.2, it was the most powerful earthquake in United States history and the second most recorded worldwide and in its wake left many Alaskan lives and communities in great distress; and
WHEREAS, many cities, villages and communities throughout Alaska, and even parts of California, Oregon and Canada felt the colossal force of nature. The damage of resulting landslides, avalanches, and tsunamis was severe and devastating. In Alaska, Oregon, and California 131 lives were lost along with the damage and destruction of millions of dollars in infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, on this day we are reminded how precious life is and we recognize all those whose lives were lost or affected by this force of nature, including the courageous first responders, servicemen, and volunteers who sacrificed their time, energy, and lives to assist rescue and relief efforts; and
WHEREAS, we celebrate and honor Alaskans supporting each other and collaborating to rebuild affected communities; providing us with inspiring examples of determination and sense of community; and
WHEREAS, although this day left a devastating impact that still affects us today, it forged a safer path forward for Alaska and our nation by advancing our knowledge of earthquake preparedness and earthquake sciences. Planning, emergency kits, and regular practice drills are vital for all Alaskans to be better prepared for the next natural disaster or emergency situation.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael J. Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim March 27, 2019 as:
Great Alaska Good Friday Earthquake Remembrance Day
in Alaska, and on this 55th anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake, encourage all Alaskans to educate themselves on earthquake safety procedures, participate in commemorative activities, such as exhibits, conferences, and planned community emergency response exercises, and to remember those whose lives were lost that fateful day. I also order all State flags to be lowered to half-staff on March 27, 2019.