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Earthquake Update

Port of Alaska survived Friday’s 7.0 earthquake and has remained open for business. There are no known injuries or petroleum leaks or spills because of the earthquake.

The tanker Pacific Beryl was at dock and discharging fuel when the earthquake struck and it immediately suspended pumping operations. Port of Alaska secured all fuel lines initial pressure tests are complete scheduled for Saturday. Pacific Beryl resumed pumping operations late Saturday after fuel line and tank system was declared safe.

The general cargo docks and trestles have all been inspected and are safe for regular shipping operations. The earthquake damaged several dock lights and overhead power lines that have been repaired. Inspectors confirmed that the dock cranes and other equipment are ready for regular operation.

No disruption to regular cargo operations is expected. TOTE’s regularly scheduled vessel is expected to arrive at 1 am Sunday, Dec. 2 and Matson’s regularly scheduled vessel is expected to arrive at 11:30 PM that day.

The U.S. Corps of Engineers surveys indicate that Upper Cook Inlet shipping channels and Port of Alaska berths will support normal shipping operations.

Port of Alaska director Steve Ribuffo said, “Port of Alaska’s resiliency through this earthquake demonstrates the value of adhering to stringent engineering and maintenance schedules and standards. Unfortunately, good maintenance slows but can’t stop corrosion, and this level of performance is not sustainable for even a few more years.”


Pacific Beryl remained at dock after Friday's earthquake.
Pacific Beryl remained at dock after Friday’s earthquake.
Land crack on North end of port.
Land crack on North end of port.
Minor expansion joint damage on dock.
Minor expansion joint damage on dock.
Port of Alaska remained open after Friday's earthquake.
Port of Alaska remained open after Friday’s earthquake.


Port and Municipal officials plan to replace aging docks and related infrastructure to:

  • Improve operational safety and efficiency
  • Accommodate modern shipping operations
  • Improve resiliency . . . to survive extreme seismic events and local marine environment for at least 75 years

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Port of Alaska is Alaska’s premier inbound cargo port that handles more than 3.5 million tons of fuel and freight annually. About half of all Alaska inbound marine cargo crosses the port’s docks . . . that leverage hundreds of millions of dollars of public and private infrastructure, including more than 125 acres of cargo handling yard, 3.4 million barrels of fuel storage, 60,000 tons of cement storage . . . and marine, road, rail, air and pipeline connections to all of Alaska.

The Port is located in tsunami-proof Upper Cook Inlet, adjacent to Alaska’s population center and primary business and transportation hubs. It is U.S. Department of Commerce Foreign Trade Zone No. 160 that provides tariff benefits that improve federal, state and local business competitiveness. It is also one of 17 (including Guam) Department of Defense-designated “U.S. commercial strategic seaports” nationwide.

Port of Alaska serves deep-water vessels that operate year round to transport cargo faster, cheaper and more reliably than any other means. It is a critical piece of economic and national defense infrastructure that helps keep our nation strong . . . and Alaska produce fresh.


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