Historic Earthquakes

Southeast Alaska
1979 Feb 28 21:27:06 UTC
Magnitude 7.5

This major earthquake was located about 50 kilometers northwest of Mt. St. Elias, near the east end of the Chugach mountains. It affected the area only slightly because it centered in an unpopulated area of ice fields. Seven major earthquakes have been located in the region between Controller Bay and northern Chichagof Island in southeast Alaska from 1899 to 1979, three of which were of magnitude 8 or larger. This earthquake was strongest at the Icy Bay Lumber Camp, about 76 kilometers south of the epicenter, where a parked logging truck was bounced sideways across the road, trees and bushes were shaken strongly, and people had difficulty in standing. Minor damage occurred in Alaska at Border City, Cape Yakataga, Juneau area, Valdez, and Yakutat; minor damage occurred in Yukon Territory, Canada, at Beaver Creek, Burwash Landing, Destruction Bay, and Kluane Lake Fishing Camp. A 15 centimeter tsunami was recorded at Yakutat.

Abridged from Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised), by Carl W. Stover and Jerry L. Coffman, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527, United States Government Printing Office, Washington: 1993.