Alaska: Picking up the Pieces

Alaskans always look forward to the big spring breakup, the time of the thaw that signals the end to hibernation and the beginning of the growing and fishing season. Along a corrugated street in downtown Anchorage last week a sign was posted on a store front: CLOSED DUE TO EARLY BREAKUP.

Such macabre humor was the exception in the wake of Alaska's Good Friday earthquake. More than 125 were dead or missing in the disaster, most of them in Alaska, the rest as a result of seismic sea waves that hit Oregon and California. The cost in property damage was,...

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