Psychic Impacts from Anchorage’s Magnitude 7 Earthquake

Kathleen W. Tarr

If, during childhood, I had experienced anything like the unforgettable phenomenon and terror of a major earthquake, I might have grown up with the inspiration to become a geologist. When the catastrophic magnitude 9.2 earthquake struck Southcentral Alaska on Good Friday in 1964, however, I was a young child living in Pittsburgh with no knowledge of the natural laws of geology.

Anchorage’s recent M7 earthquake—on November 30, 2018 at 8:29 a.m.—was also unforgettable. And I’ve thanked my lucky stars every day since that I was nowhere near Alaska for the much greater one of 1964.

I’m not sure if neuroscientists have written much about the lingering psychological effects caused by major earthquakes. (I’m writing this from Southeast Alaska after gladly accepting an invitation from friends to get away from the shakes and rolls. Only trouble is, I’m situated on the north Gulf Coast of Alaska, where the Yakutat block is…

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