Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The earthquake that will destroy Toronto - Part 7 - End

In the cold light of morning, I have decided to end my lurid story.  Naturally, it ends with a nuclear disaster.  I know that the backup power can't take this.  However, I have no wish to take on the PR firm that rules Ontario.  Their automated talking heads will just say everything is fine, and all the citizens will nod their heads.  It's wonderful to live in such a happy land.  :)


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The earthquake that will destroy Toronto - Part 6

And now we get to the good stuff.  In summary, people right on the rupture have been taken care of (**). The nature of earthquake goes far beyond that.  All the lifelines of the Golden Horseshoe have been destroyed.  Every transformer in the system has blown.  The natural gas pipes have broken, and fires have broken out everywhere.  The roads and bridges all have hunks torn out of them.  The airport is dead.  There is no electricity and no natural gas, and it's 20 below.

Jack and Sara live north of the magic line.  Their home wasn't badly damaged, but there is no power and no gas.  All the normal emergency shelters like school gyms and community centres were constructed of block wall and have been red-tagged.  They settle under their blankets for a long wait.  But they see fires in the distance, and they are in one of those subdivisions where large houses fill the entire lot.  Their friends, Bob and Sue, are in townhouses with a common wooden roof.  There was a reason why they separated houses in the old days.  **

Most tall buildings of Toronto are on the hanging wall of the fault.  The rupture terminated just short of downtown, but the pulse kept going.  In fact, the termination of the rupture caused its own problems.  Instead of just a positive motion, the pulse now has a whip-back.  All those buildings were designed with a sinusoidal motion on a shake table.  The engineers divided the building into 'modes' and made sure there was enough strength to shake and shimmy through any California basin earthquake.

But the pulse was a strong positive with a sudden reverse pull.  This caused 'fling' in the towers, something mentioned many years ago in papers, but always ignored.  When asked, the engineers had always stated that 'Tradition was the most important thing.'  Unfortunately, this fling was like snapping a bull-whip, and the top floors had sharp things flying about.  No help was expected for Judy, who had cut an artery.  **

Meanwhile, every perfectly good building was evacuating its people.  There was no power, and all the fire alarms were singing.  The subways were dead, and people jammed the streets, bringing traffic to a halt.  John was freezing without a coat, and he looked up at the Trump Tower.  Was that glass falling?  **

-- blah, blah -- on to the nuclear stations!

The earthquake that will destroy Toronto - Part 5

Up the road, the local Hamilton Maffie boss was having a house-warming party.  He had managed to combine every ethnic mafia in the country.  His giant mansion confirmed that, with every style jammed into the place.  He had a nice estate on the drained Hamilton sag pond, and the house was 3 stories.  He put his Italian stone lions on tall pedestals in the living room.  He was especially proud of the very heavy clay tiles for his roof.  That, and the super-monster waterbed on the top floor.  The engineer had complained, so he had him killed.  As the waves reached him, there was a slight tinkling of the champagne glass fountain, and then all Hell broke loose.  **

The fault ruptured for a distance of 30 km up the Hamilton Fault, making it a Magnitude 7.  Those on the firm ground north of the 'magic line', as drawn by the old crank, had ten times less PGV than those to the south.  Toronto was divided into North and South.  The North only had drywall damage.

The fault rupture was so fast, it was over in 10 seconds, unlike California faults which might take 30 seconds or more.  As such, it delivered a clean velocity pulse, but what a pulse it was!  The engineers had only designed for a California sinusoidal rumble, and never imagined what a pulse could do.

South of the line, right at the shore, Luxo Luxury Condos had a magnificent 40 story building, all glass, with glass balconies, and glass walls.  Nobody had curtains, and they never threw stones.  Mr. Luxo had it built by a design-build company.  He said to them.  Push the building codes until they scream, I want something good and to hell with that crazy guy.  They pushed and pushed so that nothing was a blatant violation.  After all, their engineers were money-crazy, and a lot smarter than inspectors.

He wanted an entire shopping mall on the first floor, and parking for thousands of cars.  As well, he had to please the local mayor with an outstanding design.  They put in so many disjointed floors, and curvy offsets that it looked like demented Hula Dancer from an Escher drawing.  As well as a giant transfer slab, on top of thin walls.  Everybody loved it.  Mr. Luxo was on the top floor beside his Olympic-sized pool when the waves hit.  **

--to be continued.  I'm in a manic phase.  I'm stopping now.