Hayward Fault Blog

The 4.4 earthquake in near the Claremont Hotel is a reminder that a much larger earthquake is on the horizon.  Each small earthquake is a reminder there is a sleeping giant under the Hayward Fault that will one day create the largest natural disaster in the United States.  Tens of thousands of people literally live on top of the fault and geologists tell us the surface rupture could be 2 feet or more. In this case it does not matter if you retrofitted your house or not.  You can check the location of your house by looking up your house on this USGS earthquake map. 

Plywood to Plywood Connection

Plywood to Plywood Connections

PLy to Ply

In this test plywood was stapled to plywood to see if how strong this connect would be.  This is useful when it is necessary to attach to pieces of plywood together which is often the case when the contractor did not attach the first layer of plywood to the mudsill. 

Sill Nailing

 The next consideration is uplift or overturning forces.  High capacity shear walls must resist a tremendous about of overturning.  For example, a high capacity shear wall can create 14,400 pounds of force trying to lift the ends of the shear wall up off of the foundation.  For this reason proper sizing of hold downs is critical.  

 

Fires in California

The fires in California point to the lack of emergency services providers that will be available in the next big earthquake.  The last major earthquake in the U.S. before Northridge was in Kern County in 1952 near the remote small town of Tehachapi.  Even though it was a remote farming community 12 people died and there was $60,000,000 in damage. Given how the Hayward Fault runs through one of the densest areas in the country, one can image how many people will die and how much  damage there will be, which is currently anticipated at 165 billion.

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