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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lunchtime Quickie

posted by on July 29 at 12:00 PM

“It could happen tomorrow, or not for a thousand years…”


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The final shake that ended Paul Schell being Mayor of Seattle.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | July 29, 2008 12:09 PM

...and left us with yet another jerk.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | July 29, 2008 12:11 PM

@2, remember it was Greg or Mark Sidran (sp) and for some reason we thought Greg was better.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | July 29, 2008 12:13 PM

And this is why it gets me that nothing useful seems to be happening with the seawall. We have about a 10% chance of a major earthquake happening in the next 50 years, and if it does, lots of people will die. The citywide devastation will make the 2001 earthquake look like a little baby hiccup.

If you want to do something, lobby the city government for more funding for emergency services, seismic retrofits for vulnerable buildings and bridges, upgrades to important utility lines, and massive information campaigns to help people get prepared for an earthquake disaster. Oh, and a citywide emergency-warning system would be a good idea, too.

Posted by Greg | July 29, 2008 12:28 PM

Everyone arguing about tolls on 520 or the Viaduct replacement forgets why we have to do them.

Because they're broken.

And Greg is right. Even if the hot mud from Rainier has a higher projected death toll.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 12:31 PM

bill steele is the shit. everyone in the region is safer because of the work he and his colleagues at uw/usgs do.

if you ever have an opportunity (or can make an opportunity) to tour their lab at the uw, do it.

Posted by cw | July 29, 2008 12:32 PM

in cali, they don't advise going to the doorway anymore... or am i just imagining that?

Posted by mike | July 29, 2008 12:35 PM

I don't know about the figures for a lahar or a pyroclastic flow from Rainier, but here's the projected damage from a M6.7 earthquake on the Seattle fault:

Projected: 1,660 dead, 24,200 injured. 9,700 buildings destroyed, 29,000 buildings severely damaged and unsafe to occupy, 154,500 buildings moderately damaged with use restricted. 130 fires burn. All six major highways experience partial closures lasting months due to substantial damage, collapsed bridges. Utilities cut in areas with poor soils. Port facilities badly damaged, use restricted. Operations of businesses relying on “just-intime” deliveries disrupted by collapsed supply warehouses, transportation closures, communication outages.

Posted by Greg | July 29, 2008 12:40 PM

I read the report put out by the geotechnical firm Shannon & Wilson about the effects to the Puget Sound Region when this fault goes (mag 6.7).

It basically says that everyone is fucked forever and there is nothing we can do about it.

Posted by Whack | July 29, 2008 12:47 PM

@7 - yeah, you're supposed to duck, cover, and hold - get under a steel desk and HOLD ON.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 12:50 PM

@8 Thanks, that was much more useful.

Posted by Whack | July 29, 2008 12:52 PM

@9 - not true.

At 6.7 only about one-quarter of the buildings will collapse entirely.

It's around 8 that you start getting half of the buildings collapse - including the ones built to modern earthquake standards.

But the lack of running water and sanitation will be the big issues.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 12:53 PM

Will. A magnitude 8, on a blind thrust fault right through the center of town, will collapse only half the buildings? That is so fucking wrong I had to comment.

Cite some evidence, real evidence, or apologize and admit you pulled that straight out of your ass.

1. The Seattle Fault is extremely unlikely to produce anything close to a magnitude 8 quake. The highest historically was about a seven, or TEN FOLD less than you're talking about here.

2. A blind thrust fault causes WAY more damage at the same energy than any other kind of fault. A magnitude 7 on the Seattle fault would be devastating.

The closest modern example of a fault like Seattle rupturing at about a Mag 7 was Kobe in 1995. Japan's earthquake building standards are the best in the world--way better than found in the typical Seattle structure. The quake killed over 6000 and caused $200 billion in damage.

Get your facts straight before posing as some sort of expert.

Posted by Jonathan Golob | July 29, 2008 1:19 PM

@12 ugh.

Read the damn report. There are more major issues than a few collapsing buildings. The geographical isolation of the region being one of the biggest. The closing down of major transportation routes is a big deal.

I hope your pea-patch is stocked.

Posted by Whack | July 29, 2008 1:22 PM

Golob don't get too testy with the people who come here 1,000 times a day to look at the advertisements on Slog to pay your checks.

Just sayin. (even though yeah, Will is an idiot)

Posted by Non | July 29, 2008 2:04 PM

@13: I think he was mostly worried about his 100-story towers surrounded by green space...

Posted by Greg | July 29, 2008 2:15 PM

@13 - actually, it depends on the depth of the fault, how it slips, and if it sets off the other ones.

The main risk factors will be easy. You'll either be dead (and that's not going to be fun for you or the people clearing rubble) or you'll be injured (at that level hard to treat since most medical facilities will be hard to get to or non-operational) or you'll be fine.

The main problem will be clean drinking water and sanitation. Both rapidly lead to death and complications, if you survived.

You're not going to care about the exact percentage of damage, but it will appear random in terms of which building collapsed and which stood, but you can forget about water, power, and don't get me started on the fire risk.

Yes? You want to talk FACTS?

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 2:23 PM

And a lahar is quite a lot worse - just the burn victims alone will be more than this country can handle.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 2:25 PM

Don't read the report right before bed, though, it'll keep you up all night, hugging your knees and whimpering.

Earthquakes elsewhere are always a good reminder for us to be sure our own asses are prepared for one here. I, for one am guilty of filching things out of my earthquake kit and forgetting to replace them.

Posted by PopTart | July 29, 2008 2:34 PM

The main problem is most people keep their earthquake kit in the bathroom or some other room where they don't spend 8 hours or more (which is the bedroom). To survive, the key thing is clean water. If you're in the bathroom, that won't be much of a problem. Same goes for the kitchen.

But, no matter where you live, there's always something - earthquakes in Cali, tornadoes in the plains, hurricanes in the East and Mediterranean, whatever.

Just know what to do, that's more important than fretting.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 3:31 PM

Anyone in the path of a lahar will be vaporized long before they've got a chance to be deemed a "burn victim".

Posted by NapoleonXIV | July 29, 2008 3:35 PM

@21: You are confusing lahars and pyroclastic flows.

Posted by Greg | July 29, 2008 4:11 PM

Picky picky, Greg.

"When the Rainier melts due to superheated lava, won't have no place to stay."

Sure, compared to an earthquake, there will be fewer wounded (percentage-wise), as they'll mostly be dead, but there will be (and usually are) burn victims and most of them will die.

Just ask someone from the Phillipines or anywhere else in the ring of fire.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 4:39 PM

It could happen tomorrow, or not for a thousand years; but when it does, it'll be because of all you fags and fag enablers.

Posted by Bubba McShitkicker | July 29, 2008 5:15 PM

Instead of blaming people or imaginary friends, try remembering what PLANET you live on.

Posted by NotSchooledInBlissfullIgnorance | July 29, 2008 5:46 PM

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