Besides being encircled by majestic beauty (snow capped mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, and sea), Valdez also has suffered two tragedies. The first occurred on Good Friday, 1964 when the second largest earthquake ever recorded destroyed the original townsite. The first shock wave ripped apart the town and the susequent tidal wave washed it all to sea. Over thirty Valdez residents died.
Almost immediately Valdez rebuilt on more stable ground. Old Valdez however still remains, a faint footprint in the muck.