Oregon begins readying schools for earthquakes

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Oregon is begining to fund seismic retrofits for schools to prepare them for an upcoming Cascadia subduction fault earthquake.

The state has been slow to gird for this calamity, which is not surprising considering that the last great quake (and tsunami) struck in 1700.

There was little to destroy back then, of course. But now — just to take schools as a sample — there is enormous vulnerability. One fact: “Of the 2,161 public school buildings in a state inventory comprising most of Oregon’s 1,355 public elementary, middle, and high schools, 2,027 (94 percent) pre-date the state’s first seismic building codes.” Close to 1,000 schools are estimated to be at risk of collapse in the next Cascadia jolt, state officials estimate.

Read more at The New York Times.

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