UC San Diego to hold earthquake tests Tuesday

LA JOLLA (CNS) – A series of tests on the effect of earthquakes on
multistory buildings is scheduled to begin Tuesday at UC San Diego.

The university's earthquake simulator, the largest of its kind, will
test the impact of temblors ranging in magnitude from 6.7 to 8.8 on a five-
story building set up to resemble a hospital, including two floors with patient
rooms and surgical suites, according to the California Seismic Safety

Commission Chairman Richard McCarthy said people expect hospitals to be
open and prepared to receive patients in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

“Unfortunately, we know this isn't always the case,” he said. “The
research obtained in this shake test will help us retrofit and design hospitals
so that they can continue to function after a major earthquake.”

Once the seismological tests are complete, a fire will be set to
determine how quake damage affects the spread of flames, according to the

The test was to have started yesterday. Ioana Patringenaru of UCSD's
Jacobs School of Engineering said the rainstorm at the end of last week caused
the delay.

The testing coincides with the three-day annual meeting of the
Seismological Society of America at the Town & County Resort in Mission Valley
this week. The gathering includes a public town hall meeting tonight featuring
San Diego State University geology professors Kim Olsen, Tom Rockwell and Pat
Abbott, Robert Hawk of the city of San Diego and Mark Legg of Legg Geophysical.
They will speak about earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis.

Categories: KUSI