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Re: Napa Earthquake

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Hi Bill,
You haven't missed much since this really was not a big earthquake. My team
of 5 have spent so far 400+ work-hours in the field investigation and an
equal hours in the office.

We were mainly looking at bridges and other structures as well as
buildings, but, buildings did not take much to see.  Brides were
interesting since even though this quake hardly got much of the structures
beyond their elastic limit, two reinforced concrete bridges had very
serious structural damage.

On September 15th , EERI/PEER had a Briefing on the Napa Quake and
presented a summary of what actually happened (disclosure:  I did the
bridge briefing). Excluding mine, I thought other presenters did an
excellent job of gathering information and presenting important items on
almost  all aspects of this 'moderate" quake. .   The video is or will be
posted on

While in the field on Sunday August 24th investigating the damage,  I only
took one interview call and the interviewer was asking why retrofitted
buildings got damaged?  I gave an explanation of how you cannot answer such
question only few hours after the quake without studying the building and
what was retrofit etc and it is a fact that even engineers, who are not
really familiar with that particular building, cannot look at a damaged
building and say that this was a retrofitted building and the retrofit
failed. It will be only speculation.  So, after that I gave a few minutes
of  explanation of Magnitudes and why this earthquake was a "moderate"

Best wishes as always.


On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 7:49 AM, T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. <
bill(--nospam--at)> wrote:

> After the earthquake, I watched several news reports in which it was cited 
> that several retrofitted URM buildings were no better off than
> non-retrofitted
> URMs.
> I was expecting to hear quite a bit from the engineering community but I
> haven't. Have I been having too much fun and just missed it or was it
> something
> else?
> Thank you,
> T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA 2607)
> A L L E N   D E S I G N S
> Consulting Structural Engineers
> 33171 Paseo Cerveza, Suite 221
> San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
> V (949) 248-8588 * C (949) 374-1536


 Abolhassan ASTANEH-ASL, Ph.D., P.E., Professor
2013 Minner Faculty Fellow in Engineering Ethics and Social/Professional
 Responsibility and
2013-14 U.S. Fulbright Senior Research Scholar
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
781 Davis Hall,  MC 1710
University of California,
Berkeley,  CA 94720-1710, USA
Phone; (510) 642-4528

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