On November 30, 2018, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred near the City of Anchorage, Alaska. The main event was followed by a large number of aftershocks. Though warnings were issued, the earthquake did not trigger an actual tsunami. While there were notable geotechnical failures, such as the major damage to Glenn Highway, Seward Highway and other roadways in the Anchorage area, preliminary observations suggest that this M7 near fault event produced less than expected damage to buildings like businesses, homes, and schools near the epicenter, with the majority of damage limited to non-structural elements and contents. While this still causes disruption to commerce, education and family life, the absence of major structural damages is indicative of successes in promoting sound structural and geotechnical engineering designs. For the community of earthquake engineering researchers and practitioners, the wealth of multidisciplinary reconnaissance information available right after the event provides an important opportunity to learn from this major domestic earthquake, both technically and also from a policy and decision making perspective. This Preliminary Virtual Assessment Team (P-VAT) Report, jointly released with EERI and inclusive of its Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team briefing, represents the first product of StEER’s larger coordinated response to this event, informing and supporting other research teams seeking to learn from this disaster. Access the full report HERE.
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