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Anchorage Contributions
July 27, 1964

A Hospital in a Disaster Area

Author Affiliations

Anchorage, Alaska

Dr. Langston is president of the medical staff of Providence Hospital.

JAMA. 1964;189(4):306-307. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070040056012

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AT 5:36 PM, March 27, 1964, an earthquake of severe proportion struck south central Alaska, including the city of Anchorage. This quake, with its epicenter approximately 75 miles from Anchorage, was the largest ever recorded in North America. It struck at the most heavily populated area of the state, and dealt a harsh blow to the young state's economy.

Providence Hospital, with 155 beds, is the largest civilian general hospital in Alaska. There are four other hospitals in Anchorage: Presbyterian, which was immediately evacuated after the quake because of its proximity to a fault; the US Air Force 5040th Hospital, evacuated immediately because of structural damage; the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, which continued to function in its usual role, and cared for patients from the institution at Valdez; and the Alaska Native Service Hospital, run by the US Public Health Service. This latter continued operation following the earthquake, and was instrumental

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