Now known as the Good Friday Tsunami, the west coast, especially in the state of Alaska, was affected by a tsunami that was the most devastating ever in the continent of North America. On March 28th 1964, the United States experienced its biggest earthquake in history near College Fjord in Prince William Sound of the coast of Alaska that measured 9.2 on the Richter scale. The earthquake lasted for three to five minutes in most areas with jolting of the ocean floor creating large tsunamis. Although the earthquake did cause some destruction, the majority of death and property damage was caused by the resulting tsunami. The small Alaskan coastal communities of Girdwood, Portage, Vladez, and some native villages were absolutely decimated. There were a total of 106 people killed in Alaska due to the tsunami waves which reached heights of 11.5 meters (38 feet).
The tsunami traveled south along the west coast to impact the Canadian province of British Columbia
The mainland coast and Vancouver Island were affected where houses were seen being washed away to sea. Considerable damage was also felt in Crescent City, California where eleven people lost their lives. Even Hawaii, thousands of kilometers away felt the impact of the tsunami.