Earthquakes

ABAG

ABAG Has Earthquake Guide For You

Earthquake Guide released.
Damage from the Loma Prieta earthquake

An online tool from the Association of Bay Area Governments is now available to help residents identify potential earthquake-related damage to their homes and provides information on how to gird against the next big temblor. Read More

ABAG

Video: Building a Resilient Region – The 2018 ABAG General Assembly

We recently reviewed some of the Highlights from the Spring 2018 ABAG General Assembly, providing an overview of the program's focus on topics such as wildfires, floods and sea level rise, earthquakes, and energy.

The video above gives a sneak peak inside the event itself, featuring some of the the speakers and public officials who came together to discuss "Building a Resilient Region" and how cities and regions can effectively respond to the unique challenges of the 21st Century. Read More

ABAG

Highlights from the Spring 2018 ABAG General Assembly

Nearly 150 attendees from local governments throughout the nine county San Francisco Bay Area attended the ABAG Spring 2018 General Assembly and Business Meeting on May 31, 2018.

The General Assembly brings together ABAG’s member towns, cities and counties once a year to review and approve the Associations’s budget and work program for the coming fiscal year, as well as to discuss urgent policy issues facing the region.

The overarching theme of this year’s program was resilience. Major topics covered included recovery lessons from the North Bay Wildfires, adaptation strategies for floods and sea level rise, earthquake preparedness, and energy programs.

The 2018 General Assembly agenda is available online and key materials, handouts and presentations are available on ABAG’s website. Keep reading to find out more! Read More

Resiliency

The HayWired Earthquake Scenario: Tools and Resources to Outsmart Disaster

[This post is adapted from a news release on ABAG’s website.]

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and its many partners, including the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), have unveiled a new scenario and public outreach campaign to showcase what could happen during a major earthquake in the San Francisco Bay area along the Hayward Fault and help the public prepare for and recover from an earthquake. The HayWired Earthquake Scenario is intended to build awareness of earthquake risk and help Bay Area residents understand what they can do to mitigate risks and bounce back once the shaking stops. The public-engagement campaign – Outsmart Disaster – offers many resources, including a new fact sheet, on-line at https://outsmartdisaster.com/. Read More

Resiliency

Staff Dispatch: Learning From the Mexico City Earthquake

Mexico City Earthquake
Brina Bunt

* First in an occasional series of dispatches from MTC and ABAG staff about their experiences out in the field.  

On September 19, 2017, Mexico City experienced a damaging magnitude 7.1 earthquake, resulting in the deaths of 228 people and the collapse of 44 buildings. The 2017 earthquake occurred on the 35th anniversary of another deadly earthquake in the city that killed nearly 10,000 people. 

Due to geological, building construction and social factors, Mexico City is highly vulnerable to earthquakes. Much of the city sits on an ancient lake bed that has been drained over the last several centuries to accommodate the city’s expansion. This geology leads to significant subsidence and loose soils, which worsens ground shaking and can cause liquefaction in earthquake events.

In addition, although Mexico’s current building codes are similar to those in the Bay Area, many existing buildings date back decades or centuries, before these codes were in place. Nearly 60 percent of residential buildings are self-built without permits or inspections, meaning they don’t comply with any codes at all. Many of these residents are also highly vulnerable due to their social status – they often lack savings, insurance, secure jobs or even legal rights to their own homes.

The earthquake was a reminder to those of us in the Bay Area about the ever-present hazards of living in our own region. Read More

Resiliency

What If a 7.0 Earthquake Hit the San Francisco Bay Area?

HAYWIRED Logo

What if a major earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area? Would you and your family be prepared? 

Next month, the HayWired Scenario – a major California regional and statewide earthquake preparedness initiative – will be released to the public, providing a scientific, realistic and quantitative depiction of what would happen if there was a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault with an epicenter in Oakland. The initiative wants to shift behavior surrounding earthquakes by improving communications and the use of earthquake hazard, early warning and aftershock forecast information, as well as inform building codes, build community capacity and foster business continuity planning.

Developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, the scenario's public release will kick off on April 18, 2018, with a press event at U.C. Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium, University Club, with the annual Lawson Lecture, including a panel from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. so you can ask the HayWired team questions. The release of the HayWired Scenario also marks the beginning of the HayWired Public Engagement Campaign, known as Outsmart Disaster. Read More

Resiliency

The Dangers of Housing Loss in an Earthquake

Earthquake Damage

This past fall, the four 2017 North Bay Wildfires damaged or destroyed an estimated 8,900 structures, taking out a major chunk of Santa Rosa’s (and the wider region’s) housing stock. It served as an uneasy reminder of the potential dangers the Bay Area and its residents face from other ever-present natural hazards, such as earthquakes. For example: How many buildings could be damaged? How many households displaced? How many residents in need of shelter?

A new page from ABAG’s Resilience Program, Expected Housing Losses in an Earthquake, provides the latest and greatest research findings about the region’s seismic risk – including the fact that up to 70,000 residential buildings could be made uninhabitable. In the below video, Dana Brechwald, Resilience Planner, discusses the research and details the residential building damage estimates and displacement risks for 16 different earthquake scenarios. Read More

Land Use

The Bay Area’s 30 Year Earthquake Risk Projection

Map of the Bay Area depicting thirty-year earthquake risk.

Living in the Bay Area, we all know the “Big One” is (probably) coming.  But how likely, and when?  October’s Map of the Month tries to convey the Bay Area 30 Year Earthquake Risk both in terms of probability of an earthquake occurring anywhere in the Bay Area as well as probability for any given major fault within the region.  As can be seen, there is a roughly 3 in 4 chance the Bay Area will experience a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake over the next 30 years, according to the United States Geological Survey.   Read More