Calling all Bay Area and California Locals.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by GeorgeN111, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. GeorgeN111 macrumors regular

    May 24, 2010
    Hello everyone, my name is George and I live in the United Kingdom. I will be visiting San Francisco this August on vacation and while I am there, I need to conduct some research into the adaptation of cities due to seismic activity. Seeing as the bay area has so much seismic activity, it is a perfect place to conduct my research.

    I will be taking photos of locations that have shown signs of adaptation etc. I will also be conducting a questionnaire, which I need some reposes to. If any of you could help me out with some of the questions, by giving your response or just by sharing some opinions, that would be awesome. I don't particularly want you to fill in the questionnaire in full, I just want to hear some responses and opinions :)

    The questions are.

    1. How have you adapted to the threat of seismic activity?

    2.Have you noticed San Francisco adaptation. Have you recognised a change in building design because of the needed adaptation of San Francisco infrastructure.

    3.Do you have any experiences of seismic activity? What do you remember of the last most recent large Earthquake?

    4.How do you feel about living in San Francisco, an area with such a large amount of seismic activity?

    If you could give me ANY info, I would really appreciate it. Thankyou very much,


    (All credit for responses will also be noted at the end of my project :D

    Also, I have been noted on some forums, that I cannot ask for responses to questionnaires, so I just want to state, If it is against forum rules, I will close it down straight away, Its just that in the Mac area of the forums, I have seen polls and questionnaires before so I think this should be ok.

    Many thanks, best regards,

  2. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    I currently live ~5 hours north of San Francisco in a very seismically active region of California and have lived most of my 51 years in regions prone to earthquakes.

    We do relatively little to protect ourselves in the event of a major quake. Our water heater is strapped to the wall, our kitchen cabinets have safety latches to keep them from flying open and that's about it. When a big quake (rarely) hits, we're smart enough to get under something sturdy, ride it out and hope for the best.

    Oh. And we're pretty tsunami aware.
  3. GeorgeN111 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 24, 2010
    Thankyou for the reply, very useful.

    Many thanks,

  4. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    I kinda haven't. I'm in Sacramento, approx. 1 1/2 hours from the Bay. In fact, I have both the San Andreas and Hayward faults to the west of me, and the Truckee fault line to the east of me. For the most, the area I'm in is not seismically active. Even insurance companies here in the Sacramento region
    aren't pushing for earthquake insurance; they are 99% sure that if there was an earthquake that damaged your home, fire will accompany it. So it is better to let homeowner's or renter's insurance handle any damage, as earthquake insurance is expensive.

    Not completely. I would say that they've changed design structure immensely since the 1991 quake that took out the Bay Bridge. Google that one; you'll find some good info there. IIRC, the Bay Bridge (separates San Francisco and Oakland) is built over the San Andreas Fault. But for good change in design specs, see if you can find any documentation on the Air Traffic Control tower at San Francisco Int'l airport. They are rebuilding parts of the field, and it has to be seismically sound to handle any earthquake activity. Those two should get you a good start on research.

    I have both the San Andreas and Hayward faults to the west of me, and the Truckee fault line to the east of me. Being an implant from the midwest (read: moved here), the only seismic activity I have ever felt was an aftershock of a small quake on that Truckee fault line, which is about 2 hours away (only lasted 2 seconds), and the Ludlow earthquake in 1999 when I lived in Las Vegas (Ludlow is halfway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles; it is on the San Andreas, and shocks from that were felt as far south as Tijuana, and far east as Phoenix). Other than that, it's been pretty stable here over the past 10 years. My only other experience was the Nemaha fault line in Nebraska slightly going off in 1991, and that was because some idiot thought it would be good to blow up ice that was jamming up the Elkhorn River so it wouldn't flood into farmland, and didn't realize the fault line was underneath, and 117 years overdue to go off.

    I told myself, especially because of what happened in 1991 that if I moved to California, I would never live in Los Angeles nor the Bay area (I want to say that it was the Northridge earthquake that was in '91). Too expensive, and such a high cost. Cost of living is too high, plus having to insure yourself from everything like quakes. From what I remember reading (and I may be wrong), the Hayward fault has more of a chance of going off than the San Andreas. Both run through the Bay; San Andreas straight down to San Jose, while the Hayward goes to Hayward, Fremont, and south of Oakland. There's a lot of potential for damage. Others may disagree, but color me paranoid!

    Curious.. Why study just San Francisco? this part of the country is also on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which stretches all the way to Japan and south to the Philippines, Bali, Guam, and perhaps Fiji. You could make a very nice vacation out of this, you know. ;)

  5. beatzfreak macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2006
    Just a few clarifications to Bradi's post.

    I believe the earthquake Bradi was referring to was the 1989 Loma Prieta centered about 75 miles south of SF.

    The Northridge was in LA in 1994.

    I left SF in 1995, not entirely but partly due to the 1989 earthquake.

    I was living in SOMA (South of Market Area) when the quake hit. Our building was damaged. The stairwells were impassable and with no electricity there was no elevator, so I was basically trapped in my apartment for a day until they were able to clear the stairwells. SOMA is mostly landfill as opposed to bedrock, so not the safest place during a strong earthquake. I moved to more sturdy ground as soon as possible. The building I lived in has since been torn down. This was the case with many buildings in the district and may have triggered a revitalization to that district. New reinforced buildings replaced may of the old ones mostly around the Moscone center.

    Other areas you might want to study that were hit hard in 1989:

    The Marina district.

    The 280 freeway approach to SF was shut down and I believe it took them nearly 10 years to get it open again.

    The Cypress structure in Oakland near the Bay bridge where most of the deaths occurred along with the Bay Bridge itself.

    Downtown Santa Cruz in the south bay, just a few miles from the epicenter.

    Not sure, but I believe they recently finished a retro fit to the Golden Gate Bridge.

    As far as building requirements, I think as far back as the 80's maybe even 70's, new reinforcement codes were set for new buildings. Not sure if those were state wide or more localized.
  6. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    You're right. It was Northridge in LA later. that's what I get for posting at midnight. Thanks for the correction.

    The Cypress structure in Oakland near the Bay bridge where most of the deaths occurred along with the Bay Bridge itself.

    didn't the Maze also catch some serious damage? I was living in Nebraska at the time, and the farthest west I had ever been then was Las Vegas.

    Good catch. They most certainly did! in fact, some of it might still be going on. They are even rebuilding the Bay Bridge to make it more structurally sound as well.

    I would think they'd have to be statewide. there is just too much risk for another ground shaker to happen. If some of the faults start up in Crescent City and Eureka and go all the way down to Thermal, that's a lot of unstable land and buildings that will need to undergo reinforcement.

  7. mcrain macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2002
    Here is a link you might find helpful.

    I'm near the N.E. corner of the New Madrid hazard zone, and I can tell you the level of preparedness is low considering how many unsupported masonary homes we have and the very different geological conditions (leading to longer higher wavelength earthquakes felt at far longer distances).
  8. beatzfreak macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2006
    AFAIK, the Cypress Structure was part of a connection to the Maze, but not part of the Maze itself. It was torn down and the area was reworked so it certainly had an effect on the Maze.
  9. opinioncircle macrumors 6502a


    May 17, 2009
    Having lived in San Francisco, I'd agree with the non-readiness of infrastructures for a major quake.

    I was really surprised about this, but living in SF was not a big deal, and the mind keeps quake possibilities pretty far away.

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