WHEREAS, emergency preparedness at state, regional, and local levels is extremely vital for survival in times of crisis; and
WHEREAS, Alaska’s coastline contains many communities that are vulnerable to tsunamis generated by earthquakes and unstable slopes and is one of the world’s most seismically active regions, having experienced 16 of the 20 largest earthquakes ever recorded in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the second-largest earthquake ever recorded in the world, the magnitude 9.2 Great Alaska Earthquake of March 27, 1964, devastated numerous Alaska communities and produced tsunamis killing 131 people in Alaska, California, and Oregon; and
WHEREAS, a recently discovered, slow-moving massive rock mass in Barry Arm fjord, 28 miles northeast of Whittier, has the potential to generate a tsunami of similar severity with distant effects across much of Prince William Sound, including in Whittier, Valdez, Cordova, Tatitlek, and Chenega; and
WHEREAS, the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys knows of several structures in Alaska similar to the Barry Arm site, and is increasing its efforts to identify and monitor such potential hazards; and
WHEREAS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration operates the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer to monitor possible hazards in the Continental United States and Canada, and stands ready to issue tsunami warnings and advisories; and
WHEREAS, through a collaborative program involving State, Federal, and local officials, several coastal communities have become “Tsunami Ready.” Through Tsunami hazard preparedness and community awareness, the program improves public safety before, during, and after tsunami emergencies. Efforts are underway to increase the number of coastal communities who have reached this level.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim March 21 – 27, 2021 as:
Tsunami Preparedness Week
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to be mindful of, and prepared for, a tsunami hazard in their local areas, as we remember how Alaskans and others across the world have been impacted by tsunamis.
The Governor’s proclamation can be found here. A signed copy can be found here.