This is ABC News, New York. I've been speaking. This is a special report on the disaster in Alaska. Part on that story, one of the natural disasters where man is helpless. It's fucking devastating. Blow to the state of Alaska Quake struck at 10:45 p.m. Last night. Eastern time. That was 5:45 p.m. In the afternoon. I'll ask in time, The height of the homeward rush hour in Alaska's biggest city of angry Anchorage was badly damaged, especially in the section downtown. The rolling temblor lasted only a few minutes, but his power was terrible, trying to say the Alaska quick registered as severe as an earthquake can register. Buildings collapsed, languages, main shopping speak was destroyed. The fires broke out. Electric power lines with down like angry snakes, communications with cut off and the spreading title way as though a huge stone have been dropped in a pond, spread damage down the Canadian, American, Mexican and South American coasts and across the Pacific to the islands of Hawaii and the Asian countries. That that's total is put at a minimum figure of 600 by officials on the scene in the city of cardiac, 50 died. 50 more are missing. 34 titles devastated. 28 victims. I know they've been killed in the town about this. Some 125 miles east of Anchorage, small communities along island reportedly disappeared. President Lyndon Johnson and part of the disaster while on an Easter holiday at his Texas friends immediately mobilised federal assistance. Mister Johnson's first act was declared the state of Alaska at disaster area. Speculation arose immediately that the president would fly in north to inspect the damage from the air, as they did during the recent Ohio River flood plain. In standing by in Washington, The presidential age indicates that for the president will make such a trip today of the last of three members in Congress. Screening from Washington representative Route Rivers is waiting for transportation in Seattle. Soon after the Earth Shock get the state of Alaska with its heavy blow, ABC contacted Paul Guy would outline the disaster as it was seen stage reporting from the disaster that struck the United States. 49 state of major proportions. Practically the entire downtown area has suffered damage estimated at from 75 to 90%. Many homes in the tourniquet section of the city, the so called Gold Coast residential area that has to cooking. Stay at home, where it's situated on a bluff overlooking the endless natural gas lines have been ruptured. But according to reports as good and confirm with actions, I guess company employees and the Virgin Additional disaster the Government Hill residential area adjacent to the home Indoor Air Force Base. As reported, they've been isolated from the rest of the city. Road damage in the Anchorage area is expensive, with professor across the highway and several instances, the City of Valley, reportedly wiped out by a tidal wave, has been isolated by a tremendous landslide. Across the only access, wrote the Richardson Highway at 10 50 PM Alaska Standard time. The second time away was sweeping up Cook England, and it hit the little fishing village on the peninsula. Tidal action that Haines, Alaska, and the northern portion of the Panhandle is reported as a full tide over one hour ahead of schedule that that the water was continuing to arrive at the rate of every 15 seconds. Pains is another, then terminates for the last comparing system terminal facilities. Maybe just try. The Coast Guard has been constantly warning coastal residents to evacuate to higher ground. And from all reports, do you have any fatalities have been recorded from that area of the same military. Wanting sites are cooperating with them radio operators and the setting up of a statewide communications network. The early stages of this disaster are difficult to cope with due to the tremendous distances the phone even know. Some five hours after the disaster struck, Many communities are yet to be heard from damage to run into the hundreds of billions of dollars and experience with the loss of life will. This is Paul Garden with reporting for Radio ABC News in Fairbanks, Alaska. That's the part. An early report gives you some idea of how the scene appeared in this disasters early hours in Washington, ABC contacted the Pentagon, which is not in a major effort at rescue and assistance. The helping hand is not only for the size of a military contingent in the last year, but for the civilian population as well. Events department information. Other Sylvester reports on news received from Alaska from the commanding general. There are J told ABC that the Alaskan communities of Anchorage, Tova Codiac and Canada. I have received major damage. There are apparently some casualties in these communities, but because of this dark and confused, the local civil authorities have not been able to determine or even estimate the numbers at this time. Presently, there are no known military casualties that is the site of people living in operating on the military base. General gave the following summaries of confirmed damage report. He said that international airport control tower was destroyed. FAA facilities there are in operative. Indeed, the field has been closed to civilian flights because at the present time, less than some 3000 ft of runway is usable. In Anchorage, which is nearby, numerous major buildings have been extensively damaged and homes destroyed. Fuel tanks in the port area have been ruptured and fires have been started in the railyards. The business district of Codiac has been washed away by the title way. However, warning was given in sufficient time to allow evacuation of personnel out of the danger area. Incomplete reports from Valdez and Steward indicate that the major title wave damage has been great and has resulted in fire. The Alaskan come in is getting all available assistance to the stricken communities. And General Reeves said this will continue as long as required to protect lives and property and to help the Alaskan people recover from the calamity that has been visited upon them. Some examples of this assistance our troops, the material support which generated has provided to Anchorage and has attempted to get into the steward area. But unfortunately, fissures in the road some is why this 4 ft stopped our troops from transporting supplies and medical aid to the steward area, General reported. That's an attempt will be made a day light to airlift such supplies into the steward area, and he proposes to you the combination helicopter and see Run 23 C 1 30 airlines they have been directed to provide troop and material support. Develop death as soon as the weather from it. The weather has been a limiting factor. Say nothing of the dog. General reported that the visibility at eight o'clock with 200 and a half mile the backs on Elmendorf Elmendorf Air Air Force Base have been made available to shelter civilian. The Alaskan command headquarters will continue on a 24 hour operation during the present emergency to direct military support and assist an operation. Elmendorf Air Force Base, Richardson, the Army base and Wildwood stations have all been damaged. The extent of the damage is currently being survey. However, the Alaskan command is operational and generals and it's funny capable of carrying out preliminary damage. Survey following the Air Force Base hospital is severely damaged and the patients have been evacuated. Some damage has been suffered by aircraft on a on the paper. Detailed remains capable of performing it. Defense mission. Also the control tower. It was severely damaged and is unusable, but it has been replaced by a demo deal. One both installations. That is to say, the Air Force base in Fort Richardson had suffered moderate to severe damage to utilities, and in some instances power has not been probably restored to either one. The the continuing tremors causing for the for the damage and complicating the problem of reorganization and getting things back to normal. So far as the communications are concerned, the majority of the long line voice communications have been restored and essential circuits defense activities are all operational. That was Pentagon information cheap others. Investor watching the Red Cross is mounting a major rescue and aid effort. ABC's John Consulate. Talk to you in Washington to the Red Cross. Director of the services. Robert, We switching out of Washington for that report, Mister Red Son, are you operating a disaster basis? Oh, yes, indeed. With his earthquakes and Alaska, this is certainly hey, uh, devastating disaster. And, uh, we have been operating since 1 a.m. this morning. Here's national headquarters, uh, as well as the western area as soon as we receive. So we are operating around the clock and will continue to operate around the clock as long as is necessary from information you know have is the earthquake is big in San Francisco at the turn of the century, the intensity of your earthquake I understand, was about the same as that which drugs San Francisco. I think by virtue of the, uh, less populated areas that it hits, uh, it would not be considered as serious. And the loss of life, at least, uh does not indicate to be. That'll be as severe in that instance as in San Francisco Place and the Red Cross estimate at this time the loss of life and injuries involved in the earthquake. I wish we could, because of first the people would like to know. But we do not have such information and rather than Asian, some type of a of a figure, uh, we would say, No, we do not have. We have talked to the field director at Elmendorf Air Force Base who has been in and around Anchorage, and he does indicate that the survey teams are going out. But the the damage of the business district and residential district is extremely heavy. Is there any danger of disease now, or do you have any plans regard to that for the future? But there's no evidence of any diseases at the present time, and we do not have any basic information in relation to the number of people that might have been injured. Of course, the, uh, public health authorities will be very confident of the danger of contamination of water supplies, and I'm sure that every precaution will be taken to prevent any spread or any any disease it might might be developing among the people affected by the disaster. How much of the Red Cross funds may be called out. Of course, until we know approximately what the damage has been and what the needs of the families are. How many houses have actually been destroyed or major damage? Uh, it would be impossible to make an estimate, but this will be considered, certainly has a major disaster. And, uh, we will I want to assure the people that the Red Cross will stay on the job in the recovery phase of this operation until the people who need our help, uh, get it. In other words, the Red Cross part listed as the emergency phase. Right now, uh, we were moved additional staff as situation one to help deal with the families on an individual basis to help them recover from the disaster. And this assistance, I would emphasize by the Red Cross is an outright grant, and there's no obligation for repayment. I emphasize that, sir, because this is so, uh so practically misunderstood. How much in funds is available for such a disaster? But we have an $8 million a budget for disaster operations. Uh, so far, the with the exclusion of the Ohio Valley floods, uh, nature has been fairly, fairly kind Uh, but of course, we There are many chapters who are in front campaigns is the present time and their March campaign and people designed to contribute to contribute through the local Red Cross chapters with the Red Cross. Be willing to spend, for example, a million dollars $25 million. Oh, the Red Cross will spend that which is necessary to meet the needs of these people, be at a million dollars or $5 million or $10 million. The funds The American people have always responded, uh, to the through the Red Cross to help these people who need help. And, uh, we will, we will do the job. Whatever it's the cost might be with the support of the American people. How long would you estimate the Red Cross? Maybe in Alaska? Of course, this is extremely difficult, because again, we do not know the extent of the damage reason. I know the total number of families affected, uh, so that, uh, it could be a month. It could be six weeks. It could be two months, depending upon the size, the scope and the number of people that really need Red Cross help when do you believe a good estimate on the damage may be available on the basis of, uh, of the information that we now have that survey teams are beginning to move into the area. Uh, it'd be my judgment that within 24 to 48 hours that we would have a pretty firm estimate of the of the actual damage to a real property and to houses and businesses. The parts of casualties and damage are just beginning to come in with any detail. Officials fear the worst on the earthquake in Alaska. This has been a special ABC News report on the earthquake in the Last Van Horn, ABC, New York, This is the ABC Radio networks.