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RE: That was another week in general busines

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I have a rather extensive collection of information on the New Madrid seismic zone.  One of the more interesting books is "The New Madrid Earthquakes" by Penick.  Note that the word "earthquakes" is plural.  During the 1811 to 1812 time period, over 1,800 quakes were recorded in Nashville, TN.  On the MMI scale, 3 of the quakes were larger than the 1906 great earthquake of San Francisco.  The MMI VII area of the New Madrid event was 20 times larger than the San Francisco quake. The December 1811 quake was felt by people (MMI V or greater) over a 965,000 square mile area.

By the way, the effect in St. Louis would be great but spotty due to the local geology, but you are right about Memphis.  Memphis would get hammered. Their new pyramid stadium sets on Mud Island (appropriately named) and is designed for seismic zone 0 (requirement of the City).  Some islands in the Mississippi totally disappeared in the 1811 event.

I'm glad I moved to Colorado.  Talk about full employment for structural engineers.

Harold Sprague
Krawinkler, Luth & Assoc.

-----Original Message-----
From:	Roger Turk [SMTP:73527.1356(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Monday, April 20, 1998 9:52 AM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject:	That was another week in general busines

John Nichols wrote:
. > Try one of those big ones on the New Madrid fault line and St Louis or . > Memphis will probably resemble a junk yard.  And the death count will . > probably be horrific, if Spitak and Tashkent are anything to go by.  The . > attentuation rate is also a significant problem, so it will be felt . > everywhere.  i believe the Insurance Co's call it Aremgeddon ie they are . > all broke!

Unfortunately (or, fortunately for the insurance companies) earthquakes are excluded from coverage in the ordinary insurance policy as is earth movement.  While some insurance companies outside of California do offer an earthquake endorsement, it is expensive, $7.00 per $1,000 valuation here in Arizona.  The deductible (5% or 10%) is a percent of building valuation, not cost of repairs, which makes it even more expensive.
I agree with you, that St. Louis and Memphis would resemble a pile of junk when the New Madrid fault lets go again, but they aren't the only cities that are in that position.  Unfortunately, people are burying their heads in the sand and when that happens, they will never know who is kicking their butt.
Several years ago, I had an engineer from the Memphis area tell me that the cost of earthquake design would raise the cost of construction in the Memphis area too much and it would be politically unattainable.  Ironically, the engineer that argued this line was, at that time, editor of EERI's "Earthquake Spectra."
A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

P.S.  Tell Michelle to look at Compuserve.  Although it is now owned by AOL, AOL has said that it will keep it separate from their AOL online service.  I would imagine that it is available in Australia.