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50th Anniversary of U.S.'s Largest Earthquake

A magnitude-9.2 earthquake, the largest ever recorded in the United States and the second largest ever recorded in the world, devastated southern Alaska 5 decades ago. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the U.S. Geological Survey has created this video, with perspectives from scientists and those who witnessed the chaos that took place that day. The massive tremors and subsequent tsunamis took 131 lives, caused about $2.3 billion in property loss (in today’s dollars), and forever changed how scientists view earthquakes by verifying the hypothesis of plate tectonics.

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