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Earthquake Damage

The factors that contribute to the damage caused to a region by an earthquake, include ground type and size.

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Be Prepared!

Be Prepared!

Credit: H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cypress_structure.jpeg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Immense damage from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that hit the San Francisco Bay Area of California can be seen above. If you live along an active fault – in California, or anywhere major quakes can happen – right now is the time to prepare for a large earthquake!

Why It Matters

Credit: C. E. Meyer
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BayBridgeLomaPrietraMeyerB.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Upper level of the San Francisco Bay Bridge collapsed in the 1989 earthquake [Figure2]

  • Southern California, south of the San Gabriel Mountains, is over 100 years overdue for a major earthquake.
  • There is a 2 in 3 chance that the San Francisco Bay Area will experience a 6.7 or higher quake in the next 30 years.
  • Stress is building along the San Andreas Fault, and will continue to build until that stress is released by an earthquake.
  • In 1868, a 6.8 caused extensive damage along the Hayward Fault.
  • In 1906, a 7.9 along the San Andreas Fault had a 300 mile surface rupture.
  • The Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 was a 6.9.

Explore More

With the link below, learn more about preparing for an earthquake. Then answer the following questions.

  1. How do geologists learn the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes along a fault?
  2. Some developing countries use earthquake codes from the U.S., but buildings collapse in a quake. Does this mean necessarily that the same types of buildings will collapse in the same magnitude earthquake in the U.S.?
  3. What can result from earthquakes that cause damage and deaths?
  4. Why might communities have difficulty surviving for the first 2 to 3 years after an earthquake?
  5. What are the seven steps you need to follow to prepare for an earthquake?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cypress_structure.jpeg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: C. E. Meyer; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BayBridgeLomaPrietraMeyerB.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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