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Anchorage short-term (weekly) earthquake risk models


Short-term seismic risk models are used to detect high-risk seismic time-windows before major earthquakes near Anchorage. These models have a significant impact on the city's finances as they allow for the preparation and mitigation of potential damage. By detecting the potential for earthquakes, businesses and residents are able to make necessary adjustments, such as reinforcing buildings or purchasing insurance, to protect their assets. Additionally, the city government can allocate resources and funds to prepare for potential disasters. Overall, the use of short-term seismic risk models helps to minimize the financial impact of earthquakes on Anchorage. The most vulnerable cities such as Palmer, Wasilla, Kenai and Homer as the most vulnerable regions to earthquakes in Alaska can utilize short-term earthquake risk models to manage financial earthquake risks in several ways:

  1. Financial protection: The risk transfer mechanism can protect vulnerable regions from the financial losses caused by an earthquake, allowing them to rebuild and recover more quickly and efficiently.
  2. Funding for recovery: An earthquake risk transfer mechanism, such as an insurance policy or a catastrophe bond, can provide funding for the recovery process, allowing the vulnerable regions to access the resources they need to rebuild homes, infrastructure, and other facilities.
  3. Financial stability: The risk transfer mechanism can help to stabilize the economy of the vulnerable regions by providing a reliable source of funding for recovery and reconstruction efforts, reducing the burden on government budgets and local economies.
  4. Risk reduction: The risk transfer mechanism can help to reduce the risk of a repeat disaster by providing funding for mitigation and risk reduction measures, such as retrofitting buildings and infrastructure to make them more earthquake-resistant.
  5. Support to the population: The risk transfer mechanism can help to support the population affected by the earthquake, by providing funds for emergency relief and recovery assistance, such as shelter, food, and medical assistance.

With an accurate short-term earthquake risk detection model, earthquake risk transfer makes it easier to structure and execute such financial instrument. Utilizing short-term earthquake models is just one of the ways to manage financial earthquake risks, and it's important to have a comprehensive approach that includes risk assessment, risk mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

Anchorage seismicity

Anchorage, Alaska is located in an active seismic region and experiences frequent earthquakes. The area is affected by both subduction zone earthquakes and crustal earthquakes. The 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake, which had a magnitude of 9.2, was one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded and caused significant damage and loss of life in Anchorage. In recent years, there have been several moderate to large earthquakes in the region, including a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in November 2018. The Anchorage area is also at risk for tsunamis, which can be generated by large earthquakes off the coast. Seismic monitoring and hazard assessments are ongoing in the region to better understand the potential for future earthquakes and to help mitigate their impacts.

Some other cities that are vulnerable to the forthcoming earthquakes are:

  • Palmer: Located about 40 miles east of Anchorage, Palmer sits on the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, which is an area with a high risk of earthquake damage.
  • Wasilla: located about 45 miles north of Anchorage, Wasilla is also located on the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and is considered a high-risk area for earthquakes.
  • Kenai: located about 130 miles south of Anchorage, Kenai is situated near the Kenai Peninsula Fault, which has the potential to generate large earthquakes.
  • Homer: located on the Kenai Peninsula, about 200 miles south of Anchorage, Homer is also located near the Kenai Peninsula Fault.