A series of tests on the effect of earthquakes on multi-story buildings was supposed to begin Monday at UC San Diego, but was delayed until Tuesday because of the recent rain, a university official said.
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, according to the California Seismic Safety Commission.
The structure sitting on the so-called “shake table” includes two floors that have patient rooms and surgical suites.
Commission Chairman Richard McCarthy said people expect hospitals to be open and prepared to receive patients when there is 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 commission.
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 Tuesday night 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.
–City News Service