Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shake, Rattle, Seattle

From the New York Times...

"We engineers and seismologists need to gather and study as much data as we can from Chile’s quake. But one thing is already clear: based on the kind of damage that buildings suffered in Chile, tall structures in the earthquake zones of the United States appear to be at much higher risk than we thought. This lesson should be of obvious concern to San Francisco and Los Angeles. But it is actually the Pacific Northwest that is most vulnerable to a mega-quake like Chile’s.

Just off Northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia sits the 600-mile-long Cascadia fault. Like the Nazca tectonic plate that caused the quake and tsunami in Chile, Cascadia can produce temblors with magnitudes of 9 or greater, more powerful than anything we’ve experienced or expect from California’s famous San Andreas fault."

Read more here

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