WHEREAS, emergency preparedness is extremely vital for survival in times of crisis; and
WHEREAS, as one of the world’s most seismically active regions, Alaska’s coastline contains many communities that are vulnerable to tsunamis. Sixteen of the 20 largest earthquakes in the United States have occurred in Alaska; and
WHEREAS, Alaska is also home to the highest tsunami wave ever recorded, the Lituya Bay Tsunami. The 1,720-foot tsunami killed two boaters in July 1958 after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake produced a rockslide, audible 50 miles away, in Glacier Bay National Park; and
WHEREAS, earthquakes have no season and can happen at any time, as Alaskans were reminded of on November 30, 2018, when a destructive magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck north of Anchorage; and
WHEREAS, the magnitude 9.2 Great Alaskan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 27, 1964 was the second largest in the world and devastated numerous Alaskan communities and killed 131 people in Alaska, California, and Oregon. The 1946 Aleutian Tsunami killed 159 people in Hawaii, five in Alaska, and one in California, and generated a 100-foot tsunami that destroyed the lighthouse at the Scotch Cap Coast Guard Station on Unimak Island; and
WHEREAS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration operates the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, to issue tsunami warnings, advisories, and watches for the continental United States and Canada; and
WHEREAS, through a collaborative program involving State, federal, and local officials, several coastal communities are now labeled as “Tsunami Ready.” This program promotes tsunami hazard preparedness and community awareness, and efforts are underway to increase the number of coastal communities who have achieved this level of preparedness.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim March 22 – 28, 2020 as:
Tsunami Preparedness Week
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to become aware of, and prepared for, a tsunami hazard in their local areas, as we remember how Alaskans and others across the world have been affected by tsunamis in the past.