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SSA President Tom Jordan Briefs U.S. Congress

7 Mar 2014

left to right: David Applegate, Tom Jordan, Peter Haeussler, Bill Leith, and John Schelling

In March 1964, the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America struck Alaska, shaking Anchorage and an area larger than the state of California for more than 4 minutes and causing landslides and tsunamis that took lives in Alaska, Oregon, and California. This year, on February 28th, SSA President Tom Jordan (USC/SCEC) and SSA 2014 Program Committee Co-Chair Peter Haeussler (USGS, Anchorage) participated in a congressional briefing entitled “Exploring Earthquakes: Analyzing the Past to Protect Lives and Property Today.” Filling out the panel were John Schelling from the Washington State Military Department’s Emergency Management Division and moderator (and SSA Member) David Applegate (USGS, Reston).

SSA President Tom Jordan

The briefings, sponsored by SSA, USGS and the Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance, were held for members and staff in both the Senate and House of Representatives; the House briefing was open to the public.

Jordan and Acting USGS Director Suzette Kimball

The briefings highlighted the impact of the 1964 Anchorage earthquake and the devastation of the Northridge, CA earthquake of 1994, and advances in seismic technology over the past half century.

The briefings were well attended, with audience participants asking many and varied questions on lessons learned domestically and internationally, the prospect of earthquake early warning in the U.S., and the ramifications of seismic activity associated with hydraulic fracturing.

More information on the briefings, including downloadable Powerpoints of the speakers’ presentations, can be found on this page at the USGS website.

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