May 30, 2008

JustQuotes: Think Seismic Upgrades (Or Lack Thereof) Not Soil

"[Mayor] Newsom said the Department of Building Inspection has mapped out the 'most vulnerable parts of San Francisco' to a violent quake. Residents might be surprised, however, that it is not the Marina but the Outer Sunset that is most vulnerable."

Quake safety an ‘obligation’ [Examiner]

First Published: May 30, 2008 11:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Anyone have a link to the maps?

Posted by: Outer Sunset at May 30, 2008 3:26 PM

I'd be interested by the map too.

A pretty comprehensive article (with a map) from SPUR in 2004 can be found there:

http://www.spur.org/documents/040801_article_01.shtm

Posted by: San Fronzischeme at May 30, 2008 4:07 PM

Vulnerability to shaking is only part of the story. Residents should also consider vulnerability to fire as well.

The firestorm that kicked up after the shaking stopped in 1906 caused far more damage than the initial quake.

Another quake of the same size might overwhelm SFFD. If something downhill and/or upwind from where you are collapses and triggers a fire, you might be in the path of danger even though your building is undamaged.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 30, 2008 4:11 PM

That SPUR document had a glaring error which makes me question all of it. It said "When the "Great Earthquake" hit in 1906, San Francisco was the eighth largest city in the United States, and by far the largest city west of the Mississippi." Wrong. St.Louis was the largest city west of the Mississippi, by more than 100000.

Posted by: Spencer at May 30, 2008 5:15 PM

The fire situation is very different now that it is common for buildings to have fire sprinklers. Careful reviews of history show that the quake itself may have done more damage than expected, but this was later covered up by talk of the fire in part in order to downplay the risk of continuing to live in a city on a fault.

Posted by: Mole Man at May 30, 2008 7:10 PM

Fire sprinklers are great so long as there is water pressure in the pipes. However, if the mains have all been destroyed...

Posted by: DavidQ at June 1, 2008 12:56 PM

Seismic upgrades? Gotta be kidding. Heated towel racks is what's on Joe Blow's mind these days. Baltimore has more seismic engineers than San Francisco.

Posted by: anon at June 1, 2008 9:12 PM

We're almost finished with a seismic upgrade of our SFR. Steel Moment Frame, foundation work, bolting and sheer wall. It'll end up costing 200K. Let's hope it's valuable for the next buyer as well.

Posted by: Shazam at June 3, 2008 10:00 AM

congrats shazam,

seismic retro is a serious pain-costly,long and painful.

Posted by: paco at June 3, 2008 10:54 AM

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