Be aware that the following video, from which that still is taken, is very sad. It isn’t gory, but it does show kids and dogs shortly before they die. The kids look to be about the same age I was in 1964.
Per Popular Mechanics, “The Chena, remarkably, was able to right itself and radio this message: ‘The town of Valdez, Alaska, just burst into flames. The whole dock is afire …'”
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has posted an animation of the Pacific-wide tsunami effects (waves also registered on equipment in Cuba and Puerto Rico!). Their date is March 28 because it happened late in the day, Alaska Time – well into the 28th, Universal Time:
IRIS has also posted a video that is technical but explains exactly why the Great Alaska Quake was so bad – it wasn’t the initial break, but rather the large area of the rock fracture that break caused (note, however, I have it on good authority that there are really only 26,994 noodles in a M8 quake).
(IRIS also notes a few minor corrections in scientific details here.)
In Valdez, however, the tsunami was worse because of a nearby underwater landslide caused by the shaking, as mentioned in the last part of another IRIS video:
- Some personal accounts.
- National Tsunami Warning Center: The Great Alaskan Earthquake and Tsunamis of 1964 (includes data on fatalities, damages, wave heights, etc., in various places)
- Alaska Earthquake Information Center: The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964
- USGS: Historic Earthquakes: 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake
- USC Tsunami Research Group: 1964 Alaskan Tsunami