• Short Summary

    Shattered Alaska continued its Herculean rebuilding job amid reports form backwater villages that indicated there may be more victims of Friday's great earthquake that originally feared.

  • Description

    Anchorage - rebuilding, refugees, etc.

    Kodiak - wrecked fishing fleet, martial law, refugees.

    Seward -damage, wrecked railroad lines


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Shattered Alaska continued its Herculean rebuilding job amid reports form backwater villages that indicated there may be more victims of Friday's great earthquake that originally feared.

    The toll of dead and presumed dead mounted to 178 in a tally released Tuesday (31 March) by Alaska Civil Defense. Officials noted that some deaths could not be confirmed.

    Meanwhile, trucks and bulldozers were struggling with the task of sorting our the debris and getting a start on the task of rebuilding.

    An armada of planes with vitally needed supplies of rescue workers are aiding quake ravaged and economically shattered Alaska. Alaskan bankers estimated that areas containing 60 per cent of the state's total developed worth had been affected. The state of Alaska is looking to the federal Government for heavy subsides to help it recover. Direct appropriations from the Federal Treasury to help rehabilitation work in the public sector are widely favored. Property damage is estimated at 500 million dollars.

    In Johnson City, Taxes, President Johnson Tuesday morning (31 Match) issued fresh order for fast action of relief for Alaska.

    In Anchorage, Mayor George Sharrok said late Monday (30 March) that he "would not discount" the idea of relocating the entire down-town business area on firmer ground as a result of Friday's quake.

    Salvage in Anchorage was pushed rapidly and utilities were restored in many sections by Tuesday (31 March). Businessmen dug undamaged goods from ruined stores and prepared to reopen at new locations. Banks prepared to reopen so that depositors could get household money and loans could be arranged for businessmen planning to rebuild their businesses.

    In the death toll, the island of Kodiak appears to have been the area hardest hit. The Civil Defence report says 72 or more persons are dead or presumed dead as a result of the quake and giant tidal waves.

    The waves made a shambles of the important Kodiak fishing port. Navy and local officials reported dozens of fishing boats were destroyed by tides that had reached 45 feet. Five blocks along the waterfront were heavily damaged and three fish canneries were wrecked beyond repair. Some surviving fishing vessels were left blocks from their moorings when the high waters receded. Kodiak's other two fish canneries were severely damage, leaving the major Alaskan fishing industry virtually destroyed.

    In Seward, facilities of the Alaska railroad were wiped our. Several oil tank cars caught fire in the quake. Officials say the vital 470 miles of the Alaska Railroad sustained an estimated 20 million dollars worth of damage. The government-owned railroad serves as the major supply route to the interior, linking Seward with Anchorage and Fairbanks. Most of Seward's residential district remains, but the water front properties that supported the small population have been wrecked beyond repair. A fish cannery in Seward has disappeared, washed out to sea. Even the site of the cannery has vanished. the fishing fleet that served the cannery is out of commission and largely destroyed. Of the 1800 persons in Seward before the quake and tidal wave, only about 750 remained on Monday (30 March). the others had been evacuated. Those who stayed behind were eating from a communal kitchen and sleeping in a relief center.

    Throughout Alaska, men found themselves without pay checks as the businesses for which they worked were destroyed. In Seward, for example, nearly all the town's adult male population is out of work, because of the destruction of the fish canneries and the railroad terminus.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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