Saturday, March 24, 2012

Falling glass during earthquakes


This issue is a real humdinger, since it hasn't happened yet.  So far, all we have are falling bricks or collapsing buildings.  It's got to happen one day with a high PGV earthquake.  I don't know where the 'sweet spot' is, and maybe it will never happen.

The basic scenario is that we have a Toronto earthquake, and all these floppsy-woppsy cheap condos start shedding glass.  The buildings remain intact, however, and all the crazy people start flooding the streets.  They get cut down like fields of barley.  As we know, 'street flooding' is the stupidest thing, but the lack of earthquake preparation allows it.  It's like people picking up the seashells on the seashore, when a tsunami sucks away all the water!

Now, with Santiago, Chile, we have cheap condos permanently tilting at 40 cm/s.  But they flop right over at 80 cm/s.  No falling glass, just falling buildings.  I find it hard to believe that we have a PGV with just falling glass.  Toronto's M7 (rated at 1 in 10000) will probably just produce 40 cm/s in the downtown core.  Do not flood out into the streets!  Tilting condos may throw deck chairs from the roof!

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