Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Big Earthquake Hype Machine


This is just the latest on the media's series 'Cities that Wait to Die'.  There are countless cities that wait to die with the rare 1 in 500 per year earthquake or tsunami.  They are hyped by seismologists who want money.

Good old Toronto is in the same category.  I have pushing for years that a city should not die with the 1 in 500 year earthquake.  The building code ensures this sort of death, because the goal is that people can walk out of a building at those odds, but the building becomes useless.  Add bridges, hospitals, nuclear plants, and that is certain economic death.  All of these die with that sort of earthquake.

Of course, with the stone cities on swamp, there are millions of deaths.  But nothing can be done before and after.  Modern cities can do something, and the economic output of New York City (all lost) easily matches the millions dead in Bangladesh.  Don't forget that when the world loses a huge hunk of the economy, millions still die because the global standard of living is pushed down.

My evil twin waits for a modern city to go down because all current seismic engineering is crap.  It is based on 'tradition', and we haven't had a 'learning earthquake' in a long time.  Horrible things are being built, all because the scaling is based on peak acceleration and they are still using sinusoidal motion.  Blah.

Even a big earthquake in Oklahoma will be useless for this because there is no instrumentation.  All the US money goes to California where it is nice and sunny for seismologists.  I don't begrudge them their happy life, but eventually something must be done.

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