Thursday, March 28, 2019

Washington's Earthquake Prone Buildings


More than 7,500 buildings in Washington are particularly vulnerable to collapse during an earthquake. You can view the location of all Washington's earthquake prone buildings using a new interactive map.

The Washington URM Dashboard shows the location of Washington state's earthquake vulnerable buildings. These are buildings which are constructed with unreinforced masonry. URM buildings are possibly prone to collapse during earthquakes because they aren't constructed with steel, which adds strength to brick and mortar walls. Buildings constructed with unreinforced masonry are particularly vulnerable to the side-to-side movement caused by earthquakes.

If you select a building's marker on the map you can view building details by then clicking on the 'Building Attributes' tab. This will reveal information about when the building was constructed, the construction materials used and other building elements.


In Portland the Oregonian has taken a different approach to mapping the city's earthquake vulnerable buildings. In 1974 Oregon enacted its first statewide building code. Nineteen years later, in 1993,  western Oregon adopted its first seismic standards. Franz Rad, a professor of civil & environmental engineering at Portland State University, argues that these dates provide a "broad-brush look at the vulnerability of buildings".

Earthquakes: How Vulnerable are Portland’s Buildings? uses Portland building age data to assess which buildings are most earthquake prone. Building footprints are colored on the map to show buildings constructed before 1974, those buildings constructed from 1974 - 1993 and buildings erected after 1993. You can therefore use the map to assess the ('broad-brush') vulnerability of any Portland building to earthquake damage.

1 comment:

reginald surict said...

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