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Re: East Coast Earthquake 8-23-2011
From: Gary Buhrmaster <gary.buhrmaster () gmail com>
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 09:12:32 -0700

On Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 05:55, JC Dill <jcdill.lists () gmail com> wrote:
On 23/08/11 3:13 PM, William Herrin wrote:

A. Our structures aren't built to seismic zone standards. Our
construction workers aren't familiar with*how*  to build to seismic
zone standards. We don't secure equipment inside our buildings to
seismic zone standards.

They should be.
They should be.
You should.

Earthquakes can happen anywhere.  There's no excuse to fail to build/secure
to earthquake standards.

I am not sure the original statement is completely
accurate.  At least for commercial construction,
there are (now) seismic standards.  It is true that
the right coast did not change the building codes
until (as I recall) the mid (to) late 1970s to account
for earthquakes.  I believe there are some differences
in those codes from the left coast standards, to reflect
the type and intensity of the quakes likely to occur
(and the liquefaction issues are presumably different
when the granite bedrock is practically under your feet).
However, there are a *lot* of older buildings that
predate the newer codes, and in general no monies
are allocated for seismic retrofits (except, as in
many jurisdictions, when you do major modifications
and you then have to upgrade the building to the
current codes).

As far as securing equipment, I do remember
some safety person coming around suggesting it
at one point as a possibly improvement when I
worked in that region in the 90's, but, not surprisingly,
they were more worried about other safety
improvements (like snow and ice removal, and
repair of cracked sidewalks and stairs).  Priorities
for safety improvements will always be made.

Gary
(I am also not a geologist)


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