Disasters: Bad Friday

Late on Good Friday afternoon, a University of Washington seismologist named Norman Rasmussen was worshiping in Seattle's Church of the Assumption. He looked up and saw that the chandeliers were swaying. Instantly Rasmussen realized that an earthquake had struck.

Fifteen hundred miles away, an earthquake was devastating Anchorage, Alaska, and a ring of nearby towns and villages. With the thunderous impact of a mountain falling into the sea, the shock waves from Alaska rippled outward, sending tsunamis (seismic sea waves) around the Pacific, flooding portions of North American western shores, coursing...

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