Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Killer quake in California?

Following two deadly earthquakes in Haiti and Chile in a six-week span, naturally the talk has turned to the potential of a similar natural disaster rocking the U.S. and whether we're prepared for the impacts of such a jolt. In the Room For Debate blog, Chris D. Poland, the head of Degenkolb Engineeers in San Francisco, says 80% of California's buildings were completed before our safest quake-resistant construction practices were put into effect; 10% of those structures will collapse and kill people, and the state's utilities and transit are quite vulnerable to long-term outages. Several other regions around the country "are facing major earthquakes and not doing enough about it," he writes.

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