"... the devastation we have witnessed in Indonesia should be a wake up call that Alaskans can not afford to be complacent. We face real danger because Alaska is the most seismically active state in the union."
- Rep. LeDoux
(JUNEAU) - Yesterday, Representative Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Kodiak) became the co-sponsor of two pieces of legislation, HB 83 and HB 84. Both bills are going to be co-sponsored by Representative LeDoux and Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks).
The first bill extends the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission until June 30, 2010. Without this legislation, the Commission would sunset this coming June. The second bill adds the word "tsunami" in each line, where applicable, of the Act relating to the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission.
More than half of the earthquakes in the United States and ten percent worldwide occur in Alaska. With more than 33,000 miles of shoreline, the state has been and can be devastated by tsunamis. "Since about 1900, Alaska has had 80 magnitude 7 or larger earthquakes," said Representative LeDoux. "This includes the second- and third-largest earthquakes worldwide that were larger than the recent earthquake in Indonesia."
More than half of Alaska's population lives on the coast, and one of the roles of a Seismic Hazards Safety Commission would be to provide a resource for state and local government officials and Alaskan communities that want assistance in acquiring information and guidance necessary to help mitigate earthquake hazards. Alaska is growing and the state's infrastructure is developing. The Commission can play a role in reducing earthquake related losses.
"I've talked to Dr. Gary Carver in Kodiak and others about the importance of continuing and implementing this Commission and feel strongly that we have been lucky since 1964," said Representative LeDoux. "But the devastation we have witnessed in Indonesia should be a wake up call that Alaskans can not afford to be complacent. We face real danger because Alaska is the most seismically active state in the union."