California Bridge Under Construction Gets Sensors to Gather Earthquake Data

A replacement bridge under construction at the second-busiest port in the U.S. isn’t just a crucial route for cargo trucks and Southern California commuters – it’s a concrete-and-steel science experiment for engineers and seismologists.

The new bridge, which will stretch 8,800 feet over the Port of Long Beach, is being built with about 75 seismic sensors that will measure the forces imparted on the span when one of several nearby faults set off an earthquake. It will replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge, though it’s unclear if it will retain that name.

Can Your House Survive the Big Shake?

(TNS) - Would your house survive a massive earthquake?

Emergency management officials say the expected Cascadia subduction zone quake could shake the Rogue Valley so hard that houses could collapse or slide off their foundations, leaving thousands homeless, injured or worse.

Even newer houses built before 1993 could see enough damage that they become uninhabitable.

“We could see sustained shaking for two to five minutes that could cause significant damage,” warned Althea Rizzo, geologic hazards program coordinator for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. “Almost all the older homes need some kind of retrofit.”

2014 Napa Quake Could be Linked to Groundwater Changes, Study Shows

Research suggests the magnitude 6.0 earthquake that rocked California wine country in 2014 may have been caused by an expansion of Earth’s crust because of seasonally receding groundwater under the Napa and Sonoma valleys.

The vineyard-filled valleys flank the West Napa Fault, which produced the quake that killed one person, injured several hundred and caused more than $500 million in losses.

Oregon Earthquake Simulation Reveals Dangers

Researchers at Oregon State University say bridges and roads in the northwestern resort city of Seaside should be prioritized for improvement after a simulation discovered they would have higher mortality rates in an earthquake and tsunami.

Researchers found that the bridge on Broadway Street over Neawanna Creek would result in the most fatalities, The Daily Astorian reported.

Earthquake Country Needs a Sense of Urgency

Emergency managers and the many different disciplines and organizations they partner with are working every day to make their communities a safer and better place to be; before, during and after a disaster.

Having cut my teeth here on the West Coast, I have always envied emergency managers who have hurricanes as their worst-case disaster. This is for two reasons. One is that they have a set schedule on the calendar that is identified and known by as the hurricane season, which, by the way, just started on June 1, and was preceded by Tropical Storm Alberto. Evidently Alberto did not get the save-the-date message and arrived a few days early.

M3.3 Magnitude Rattles Shakes San Francisco Bay Area

A minor earthquake has shaken the San Francisco Bay area, the United States Geological Survey confirmed.

The USGS says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.3 struck just before 5 a.m. on Monday. The epicenter of the quake was about 24 miles east-northeast of San Francisco City Hall. The closest city to the 4:55 a.m. quake was Alamo, California, about 2 miles away. The quake had a depth of about 3.5 miles.

Quake Scenario: More than 1M Bay Area Homes Could Suffer Extensive Damage

More than a million San Francisco Bay Area residents would face extensive damage to their homes after a major earthquake on the Hayward fault, according to a new earthquake scenario developed by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The USGS findings, which were developed with contributions from partners that include the California Earthquake Authority, are part of a HayWired earthquake scenario report that describes likely impacts from a rupture of the Hayward Fault in the Bay Area.

Mexico Earthquake Was California’s Wake-up Call

(TNS) - A number of cities big and small in Southern California are taking steps to identify seismically vulnerable buildings for the first time in a generation, acting in part on the devastating images of earthquake damage in Mexico and elsewhere around the world.

“What happened last year in Mexico City, we don’t want to experience in California,” David Khorram, Long Beach’s superintendent of building and safety, said of the quake that left more than 360 people dead. “We want to be progressive.”

In hopes of mitigating the loss of life from a major quake that experts say is inevitable, Long Beach is discussing spending up to $1 million to identify as many as 5,000 potentially vulnerable buildings.

Worried About Being on Top of an Earthquake Fault? New California Maps Will let you Know on a Smartphone

(TNS) - It’s now way easier to find out if you live in a California earthquake fault zone.

The California Geological Survey has published an easy-to-use interactive map online — type in your address or share your location on your smartphone, and, voila, you’ll know if you stand in a fault zone.

Or, for that matter, a place at risk of liquefaction or a landslide unleashed by an earthquake.

What these three zones have in common is the risk the ground can break in an earthquake, and not just be shaken.

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