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What’s more dangerous in earthquake, skyscraper or two story Tuscany Villa?

by tom44 on May 20, 2013

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Question by Jack Bent: What’s more dangerous in earthquake, skyscraper or two story Tuscany Villa?
My wife is saying skyscraper has strong steel foundation and will be better for us. I am thinking two story because it less fall. She is saying those two story apartment condos in LA are crap structures made of clay. Wifey and mom got medical jobs out there so I must go >< Best answer:

Answer by Turbidite
Depends on the strength of the earthquake. Any modern skyscraper constructed in the past 20 years in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Anchorage should do well in a moderately strong earthquake. But they have not been tested at Richter Magnitudes greater than 9. For the strongest quakes I’ll bet on the Villa.

Tuscany has experience with earthquakes. Anyone who has the resources to build a villa, as opposed to a pauper’s shack, will have a seismic design for that villa. Villas are not cheap and are not build by unsophisticated people.

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One thought on “What’s more dangerous in earthquake, skyscraper or two story Tuscany Villa?

  1. mike1942f says:

    The first answer starts off okay and then descends into nonsense. At a minimum, you are talking about a two story building in Los Angeles called a Tuscany Villa, not a building in Tuscany. And while it might be true that skyscrapers in California are not tested over 9 on the scale, since there has not been a quake that strong, as I recall, they will not fall down.
    But your wife is wrong in saying “crap structures made of clay” because the two choices are concrete block or wood frame and either one might be covered with stucco which is as close to clay as you are going to get in LA. In Phoenix you might encounter adobe brick, which is clay. Newer buildings should have steel reinforcing in the concrete block and metal reinforcing plates on the wood frame.
    The buildings that collapsed so spectacularly in San Francisco during the “World Series Earthquake” were on fill land – not much of that in LA and were buildings with open bays of garages or shops on the first floor.

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