Seattle On Shaky Ground, Ctd

A Washingtonian writes:

Thanks for bringing attention to our area. It's worth emphasizing that we are also at risk for a tsunami in the Puget Sound. And just the Alaskan Way Viaduct is on liquefaction soil, the entire south section of downtown Seattle (Pioneer Square, Sodo, etc) are all liquefaction zones. This includes our entire Port area. The liquefaction map is large but the PDF is here and another map of the city (click liquefaction to the left) here.

An architect in California writes:

When one says that building codes ensure that a building can withstand an 8.0 earthquake, that does not mean that the building will not be heavily damaged.  What most people don't realize is that most buildings will be unusable after a massive earthquake.

Seismic Codes are similar to fire codes. Fire codes don't ensure that the building will not burn to the ground.  Fire codes only attempt to insure that occupants have enough time to exit the building safely before it burns down.  Likewise, seismic codes attempt to ensure that the building rides out the earthquake and that occupants can safely exit the building after the earthquake.  Most buildings after a 8.0+ quake will be too damaged to be saved and will need to be heavily renovated or demolished. (This does not apply to hospitals and emergency facilities, which are required to meet higher seismic standards.)

By the way, an NOAA simulation of the recent tsunami is here.