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RE: Misc Opinions

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Dennis,

There was just today an article on the My Yahoo pape that I use about the
southern stretch of the San Andreas fault being "pregnant" (about due for
a sizable quake).  The article was from the LA Times.

Regards,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI

On Tue, 30 Dec 2003, Dennis Wish wrote:

>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 2:18 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: Re: Misc Opinions
>
> Mark,
>
> snip
>
> I also know that there is apparently an engineer in area that is smack
> in
> the middle of the New Madrid fault area that is actively working to get
> his city to NOT adopt the 2000 IBC because the seismic provisions would
> cost too much for new construction.  And that does not even address the
> large number of unreinforced masonry buildings East of the Rockies that
> could be laying on the ground with a considerable seismic event.
>
> --------------------------------------
>
> Scott and Mark,
> The first earthquake I ever felt was in 1969 while on campus in
> Carbondale Illinois - Southern Illinois University. This is in the
> region of the New Madrid Fault and I would never have expected an
> earthquake in Illinois. I was riding a tram during homecoming weekend
> and I watched as brick chimneys came down on wood framed homes. I really
> didn't feel much of the motion of the quake as I was in the vehicle, but
> I saw the chimneys swaying back and forth before they collapsed.
> My roommate was still asleep in the dorm and he awoke to seem my guitar
> (an original 1964 Cherry Red Epiphone Rivera) standing straight up in
> the guitar stand and swaying from side to side. He dove out of bed just
> in time to catch it as it was about to hit the floor. Thankfully, he
> caught it in time.
>
> Denial is the first phase of recognizing the problem. As I mentioned in
> another post, Santa Monica fought the same war to prevent the states
> hazardous building notification and retrofit plan because the ex-mayor
> hired an engineer from either UC Irvine or UC San Diego who reported to
> the city council that Santa Monica was essentially isolated from other
> faults in the Southern California area and would not likely be harmed.
> His reasoning was based on historic data and the city council bought it.
> The identified the buildings but did not enforce a retrofit program
> until the Northridge Earthquake hit and destroyed many URM's in that
> town.
>
> Look at the Paso Robles quake - the building that collapsed was more
> than 80 years old and had little damage from past quakes. The Bam
> earthquake destroyed buildings that were standing for centuries without
> damage. The point is that the damage will happen. Maybe not in my
> lifetime, but the odds are that the plates will move and buildings will
> be affected by it. Damaged buildings are in the wrong place at the wrong
> time is inevitable and the state or government who protects the safety
> of their citizens should work out something that will make it easier to
> repay the retrofit debt. Lower interest loans, reimbursement from
> increases in rent etc. I'm not saying the government should pay for the
> retrofit work, but I believe, like a student loan there should be a
> reduced interest rate and maybe a tax deduction for the work to offset
> the cost.
>
> I know of one engineer in Nashville who already has seen damage to URM's
> - Cracks occurring in the walls etc. He too does not believe that these
> buildings are really at risk and is advocating not conforming to the
> retrofit program (to his local building official).
>
> It is much cheaper to retrofit and not need to upgrade to current code
> requirements than it is to tear a building down and build a new one. In
> time the opinions will change and most of the professionals will start
> to get involved in retrofit design to understand what the intent of the
> code is - not to guarantee life safety or performance, but to improve
> the odds to get people out and to support the structures (gravity and
> lateral) until the people are out. After this, the disposition of the
> building is up to the engineer who can report whether or not the
> building can reasonably be saved.
>
> I just hope they get wise to this before the damage comes rolling
> through town. Believe me, I am 10 miles from the San Andreas Fault and
> the Paso Robles earthquake woke up some of the people down here who have
> not experienced a strong motion (yet moderate earthquake0 like
> Northridge) to wake up and understand the importance of the retrofit
> program. We don't want to be counting bodies in the 1000's as the
> unfortunately must do now in Iran. It doesn't get any more terrible and
> a waste of human life when there is enough wealth to in the country to
> help protect their people as we do in this country.
>
> Sorry for the Diatribe (I'm trying to stay out of politics or terrorism
> discussions).
>
> Happy New Year
> Dennis
>
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