Earthquakes vs Concrete Construction

There is really no such thing as earthquake proof. There is best guess building codes, and some nations do better than others.

Most deaths are not in the initial quake that causes building collapses, it’s the aftershocks, when people run into buildings that they don’t understand are no longer safe, and they fall down, with original victims plus would be rescuers.

For a long time, we thought stronger was better – but the lesson of water plants in rivers and streams is flexibility means you don’t break.

wood frames on nails, have some flex – concrete and rebar or concrete and high tension cables and pillars, only have so much sway before they crack and are no longer structurally sound.

The 1964 Alaska 9.2 Quake was one of the first recorded with video, and it shows the destruction and we learned that earthquakes disrupt the water and cause tsunamis.

No much was damaged in Alaska, because they didn’t have a lot of infrastructure, but what there was, was destroyed and the bridge warping and swinging is terrifying.

the water however, came down the coast and knocked a Canadian upriver town off it’s house foundations, while the main body of water contined to Californa and destroyed unsuspecting towns who never felt the Alaska quake and tremours.

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In Britian in the 1970s, the construction industry moved towards pre-fabbing construction and they build an apartment tower like a house of cards. walls with a ceiling slab that is the next person’s floor, walls and a ceiling slab – which was faster, but when someone’s gas stove had an minor explosion, the air displacement was enough to lift the ceiling slab off the walls and when it resettled, there was no 90 degrees and one quarter of the tower came down, just like a card house. Human made disasters tend to be more locally contained.

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Rescue workers and police enter the scene of destruction where the Interstate 880-Interstate 80 interchange collapsed in Oakland during the Loma Prieta earthquake in October 1989. (Tom Van Dyke/San Jose Mercury News/MCT)

Rescue workers and police enter the scene of destruction where the Interstate 880-Interstate 80 interchange collapsed in Oakland during the Loma Prieta earthquake in October 1989. (Tom Van Dyke/San Jose Mercury News/MCT)

1989 California – the double decker freeway collapsed – with more crowded housing, a lot more damage – and the shock of the freeway collapse lead to the eventual realizations that were made even clearer in 1995: Japan’s Kobe destruction.

Houses built for Tsunamis fell, while modern buildings withstood the quake.

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The higway system, raised, also collapsed, a concrete and rebar fail at a lower level of prediction for what it could withstanding

showing how little we do know about nature, in qualified quantifications

we are bound by it, not above it or able to control it.

the day the earth wobbled (December 2004 Indian Ocean Quake)

The State of Global Disaster Monitoring and Warnings is not yet Star Trek

Dinosaurs were time limited, plastic not so much, eh?

Stargazing: Astronomy, Astrology and Elvis

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4 Responses to Earthquakes vs Concrete Construction

  1. Pingback: EarthWatch: Big Quakes for 4/16/2016 | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

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  3. Pingback: the unfreezing poles | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

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