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« Volcanoes Join Tropical Storms And Earthquakes Today | Main | Oregon In Tsunami Danger/San Andreas Fault In Danger »



Elaine, please...not again. You don't know what you're talking about regarding modern building code as practiced in California. Homes there are shear-paneled, strapped, tied, and bolted together up the wazoo...from their beefed-up foundations clear through the roof sheathing.

However...if there's any kind of major earthquake in the area, Portland Oregon is going to fall down. So will Vancouver, Washington. Old buildings made of unreinforced brick still stand all over town. Current building codes are not as strict as California's (and they should be, the quake potential is equal) and what code does exist is misunderstood and poorly enforced.

One quake like California's and single family homes (old and new) there will fall, guaranteed. I imagine the Puget Sound area is similar.


btw...been watching that earthquake creep doen the coast myself, wondering when and where the major shaking will take place.

Not that 6.7 is minor, mind you...

It's kind of like the old question about the tree faliing with no one to hear it. Not many people impacted by a quake in the Queen Charlotte's...move that to the Hayward Fault and see what happens.


Great! An article about something other than money! Thank you, x10.

"The states along the entire West Coast should have 'no build' zones chosen by geologists. These long lines of pure death and destruction could be turned into lovely parks..."

Most of Southern California would probably be a no-build zone under that guideline. It's not the building over the long lines of pure death and destruction that annoys me - they can do whatever they want - it'e that we all get to pay so they can do it all over again.

Tangentially related - I read an article recently that presented evidence that those "hot spots" (like the one that formed the Hawai'i chain) move around as much as the plates do. Hence the sharp bend in the chain at the southern end of the Emperor seamounts.


I have an engineering question:

How would a mobile home handle an earthquake, compared to a home attached to a foundation? Anyone?

Neuro Artist


Much better in general, they are designed to withstand forces in motion. And the construction materials are light weight, should they break, which is unlikely since they are also flexible, you won't get killed by the debris, watch out for the pots and pans though...

Elaine Supkis

Trailers not on a fault line are OK. My sister lived in a fairly modern apartment building, less than 30 years old when the Northridge earthquake happened. The building pancaked. She survived because she was with a boyfriend out of town.


The other thing is fires: shaking causes stuff to fall and fires from ruptured gas lines are a major consideration.

D.. Facti

totally ot

"Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time."(Yahoo/Reuters)

you see? ma bell is still in charge. all is right with the world.


If the big one happens in the next 12 months,I suspect that there will be quite a few fires.

Seriously, if it does happen in the next 12 months, we will need serious amounts of grace. Californa is taking strain at the moment, and it is not a good time to be cutting funding to emergency services.

Elaine, do you have any higher risk periods in mind, eg full moon?


Hey.... just when I moved from Florida to Washington state to escape the increasing hurricanes I gotta worry about a buttkickin quake now? What gives? This wasn't in the contract, bubba! Luckily I have a president who will always protect me so I'll sleep well tonight!!!!


LOL, Roberto!

I was in Seattle for the 2001 Nisqually quake (6.8). It was pretty sobering. I was an glass-clad office building, watching people run outside at the height of the quake. Fortunately, the glass stayed put, else it would have been a scene out of a horror movie. Fortunately, the office building stayed up. But I never parked in the underground garage again.

The East Coast isn't completely geologically inert. Here is the wikipedia article on the Charleston quake of 1886 (~7.0): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston_earthquake. It caused a lot of damage. The same thing probably could happen just about anywhere on the East Coast.


According to USGS (www.usgs.gov/ and Caltech www.cisn.org/scmc.html,there have been approx. 40 earthquakes measuring from 3.0 to 5.4 in Baja, Mexico. All took place between 2/8/2008 and now. I have been following the west coast quakes for several years; ever since I was awakened by one while visiting my daughter in Chula Vista, CA. (SE San Diego and approx. 15 mi n of Tijuana). I don't study them I just observe. Since reading your blog, I'd like to know if you have commented on these quakes or have any cause and effect of these quakes on the pacific coastline? thanks

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