The Surge wave left a 2 x 12 in. (5.2 x 31 cm) plank in a truck tire at Whittier, Alaska. Whittier incurred $10 million in property damage. One of the waves, probably the same one that caused the major damage in Whittier, reached a height of 31.7 m above low tide. At Whittier the waves destroyed two saw mills; the Union Oil Company tank farm, wharf and buildings; the Alaska Railroad depot; numerous frame dwellings; and the railroad ramp handling towers at the army pier. They also caused great damage to the small boat harbor. The tsunami killed thirteen people at Whittier, then a community of 70 people. Photograph Credit: U.S. Geological Survey. Source: National Geophysical Data Center.
Both the railroad yard and seaport facilities at Seward, Alaska, received heavy damage.
Even though the regional tsunami was very destructive the local tsunamis also caused significant damage. The local tsunamis were generated by landslides, which were triggered by the earthquake. At the Valdez Inlet a large landslide was triggered by the earthquake generated a tsunami that had a run-up measured at 67.0 m in the inlet. In areas where local tsunamis were generated by landslides nearby cities were given no warning of the oncoming waves. The inability to properly warn the Alaska region prompted the creation of the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. The warning center can quickly warn towns of any threat of local tsunamis.