Originally Posted By: gromicko
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Older Buildings Most Vulnerable to Quakes
(December 24) -- With yesterday's earthquake in California, attention is once again being focused on buildings' stability. Sites that are most in danger of a potential collapse or major structural damage are those built prior to 1971. Such buildings were not required to meet the strict seismic codes that have been enforced ever since. Specifically, many older buildings lack steel reinforcements to help them withstand the violent shaking of quakes. Reinforced brick buildings will still shake, but they are considered more durable. A quick survey of buildings throughout San Luis Obispo County found that most of the newer buildings, such as the VAS Entertainment headquarters in San Luis Obispo, performed as designed. While retrofitting older buildings will make them safer, such variables as strength of quake and distance from epicenter also play a role in how each will perform under seismic stress. Monday's earthquake measured at 6.5 on the Richter scale.
Source: Contra Costa Times (12/23/03); Rowlands, Katherine Ann