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Thread: Napa earthquake

  1. #1

    Default Napa earthquake

    First question is. Do we have any members of ADISC who may live in the area are safe?
    I hope if we do their all okay. From what I saw on the news this evening there's a lot of
    damage. My thoughts and prayers are with them tonight.

  2. #2

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    My aunt and three cousins live in Napa. All are very shaken by the experience, have had a lot of their possessions destroyed (and no insurance) and have acquired a couple of bruises, but are otherwise fine. Although, their house now has a few very suspicious looking cracks :/.

  3. #3

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    I did not see the news, but at work they said a few stores were probably closed there. One customer said it was like a 6.1 magnitude.

  4. #4

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    It has been 30 years since the last one they had in that area. It does do a lot of structural damage, but the nerves are very fragile for some times.

    The other thing is that there is a volcano erupting in Iceland and a 6.5 earthquake in Peru today also.

    It would not surprise me if there is a major 8+ earthquake some where in East Asia region within the next 3 months.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by egor View Post
    It has been 30 years since the last one they had in that area. It does do a lot of structural damage, but the nerves are very fragile for some times.
    If it's a seismic activity zone, they probably build the buildings to last through it?

    Last time I was in Greece there was a 6,7 earth quake only 40 miles or so out of the coast, it felt as if the balcony was about to crash down, and shortly after it really started while I did the most stupid thing (run of the stairs outside while the whole building was shaking) but there wasn;t any damage, these buildings where build to withstand them and did so perfectly.

    All the cabinets where empty, and everything was on the floor, the local supermarket had it's entire stock lying all around, the only damage on the whole island was a deserted building that crashed of a mountain slope.

    Or is the build quality a lot less in Napa?

  6. #6

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    I'm in San Jose and felt it. Nothing bad happened.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TenaM View Post
    If it's a seismic activity zone, they probably build the buildings to last through it?

    Last time I was in Greece there was a 6,7 earth quake only 40 miles or so out of the coast, it felt as if the balcony was about to crash down, and shortly after it really started while I did the most stupid thing (run of the stairs outside while the whole building was shaking) but there wasn;t any damage, these buildings where build to withstand them and did so perfectly.

    All the cabinets where empty, and everything was on the floor, the local supermarket had it's entire stock lying all around, the only damage on the whole island was a deserted building that crashed of a mountain slope.

    Or is the build quality a lot less in Napa?
    the simple answer would be 'yes', but there's a great deal of variance in earthquakes, from type and direction of motion, to depth, intensisty and length, all of which work together to undermine structures. add into this mix the nature of the ground (hardness, soddeness, etc) upon which a building is built and then, there's also nature of the building itself:
    it seems that the most common type of construction in the US is that that was transplanted from northern europe, an un-earthquakey zone where there is no need for earthquake-proofing (and as may be seen in Tornado Alley, tornado-proofing).

    this building, http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscm...9f445d6d9d.jpg, of a typical French stone style shows where the weaknesses would be in the geometries of construction, and noteworthy for the closeness of some of the vertical joints between layers which allowing for splaying when shaken. the seemingly heavy roof would otherwise have kept things down, but it seems to have shifted to the right (in the picture view) and possibly then pushed the already wanting-to-splay right hand side out.

    interlocking is crucial to any structure's stability and under normal circumstances, just interlocking layers (done properly) will do; but, in earthquake zones, the interlocking has to be more intense.
    ancient engineers (Greeks, Egyptians, Incas) knew this and acted accordingly:

    doweling and metal reinforcing was also common, as it is today.
    the same ideas also underpin lighthouse construction, a sure test of their effectiveness.

    nowadays, common mediterranean buildings are made using reinforced concrete and lightweight blocks, similar to those in the US, and it's the lightness that offers some stability, particlularly given the types of earth movements involved. such buildings are more easily maintained and repaired after an earthquake and, with the area being fairly dry, aren't subject to constant attack by water and ice, as would be more the issue in northern europe.
    it's also worth remembering that [typically most modern] buildings aren't meant to last; they're built with a mind to the economy of which they're an integral part, for to keep projects financed, builders employed and everybody in perpetual debt (with mortaging just being another form of renting), thereby forcing them to continue working and the wheels of [financial] industry spinning. a typical modern brick-built UK house is reckoned to have a lifespan of only 25 years, tallying quite nicely with the typical length of financing. as it is, and as it shall be, such buildings are kept going for much longer than the reckoning and therefore, there's always a glut of aged and worn structures which are always more likely to fall down in adverse circumstances; that's also likely the case in the US.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ade View Post
    .....
    Wow, an extremely informative post, thank you!

    Buildings in Northern Europe are indeed far from Earth quak proof. We have Earth quakes here every now and then, not by seismic activity, but because of the vast amount of natural gas we pump out of the ground, causing the earth to cave in deep under the ground. These are quakes with a power of 2-3,x on the scale of richter, yet they do large damage (walls break/split already at 2,xx earth quakes) because of the soft soil here, houses are build on concrete pillars here that go, dependent on the depth of sand banks in the ground, 7-25m into the ground, and the house is build on a few dozen of these pillars (or else it will slide into the ground). The older buildings (14th-18th century city center(everything inside the old defense wall/water works here) are build on wooden pillars (yes there are 500-600 year old wooden pillars)

    This makes buildings very dangerous in "Earth quakes". In Greece, the buildings where indeed mostly build with large concrete blocks, no need for pillars because of the rock bodem, and not with bricks outer, and sandstone bricks inner filled with isolation (like we do in Northern Europe).

    Typically only the floors are large concrete plates here, reinforced with huge iron bars as a sort of skeletton, and leaning on the double (Sandstone inner, brick outer) wall that leans on the concrete pillars in the ground.

    I can imagine that isn't earth quake proof, I was howerver surprised that they wouldn't build them different in California, as that's a seismic activity zone.

    In any case, as to Earth quakes, we have little to do with them in daily life so we don't know a lot about them, the only thing I remember from basic geology class from the tectonic plates, and different tear lines. (against each other, leading up, two moving different ways (left/right sanding against each other (and if I recall correctly, wasn;t that the San Andreas fracture?) and ocean plates moving underneath the land plates. But I wouldn't dare go any further than that

    As for the economic lifespan of the buildings, it highly depends on the region you are in. We still build houses to last decades more, simply because we don't have room to build a new house somewhere else. When a house is damaged, it will either be repaired, or demolished and a new one build right at the same spot. We have no room to leave deserted buildings. And because of the construction style houses are very expensive here, and not build to last 25 years. Most of the people also don't pay off their mortgage, they only pay rent and pay the mortgage when they sell the house. So the bank doesn't care if anybody constructs a new house or not, economically it doesn't either, if construction workers constantly renovate or build a new house. Both is work, and I doubt it makes a lot of diference.

  9. #9

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    I felt it here at my house in Stockton. Yeah, I was up at like 3:15 am. Anyways, last weekend I went to Six Flags not far from the center (less then 30 miles if that) and had a wonderful time there. Rode Roar, Medusa and Superman there.

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