Earthquake News

Earthquake in Chile Shows What Might Happen in Seattle, Portland

Just off the coasts of Washington and Oregon is an earthquake fault comparable to the one that broke in the Chilean earthquake. It's known as the Cascadia subduction zone. It triggered a massive earthquake three centuries ago that sent tsunamis all the way to Japan.

Furthermore, our cities are comparable to those in Chile. "The building stock is significantly more parallel to ours than it was in Haiti, where there were no building codes to enforce," says MRP Engineering's Mark Pierepierkarz of Newcastle, Washington. He helps to design earthquake-resistant constructions, notably two in Santiago, Chile. He also aided in the construction of an earthquake what-if scenario for Seattle.

So far, the good news from Chile is that nearly all modern buildings appear to have survived the earthquake. Some people, on the other side, were killed by collapsing structures.

Degenkolb Engineers' Stacy Bartoletti has worked in Chile and Seattle. He claims that due to stronger building rules adopted in the late 1990s, structures in Seattle and Portland are likely to be a little more durable than those in Santiago and Concepción.

Older structures, particularly those made of brick or concrete before the 1970s, are a source of concern. This comprises historic structures and a large number of warehouses, such as those in south Seattle and Kent.

According to Bartoletti, a new score is for buildings to be "resilient," meaning they can not only hold up damage but also be inhabited. We're realizing, he continues, that people need a place to stay after an earthquake. As a result, engineers are advocating for even stricter building regulations. They anticipate to acquire a lot of important information from Chile in the end. Many high-rise buildings in Chile include earthquake detectors, which will illustrate how modern buildings behave. By the end of the week, local engineers anticipate to be on the ground in Chile.

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