From: Campus Police
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2008 2:12 PM
Subject: Earthquake Information
As the earthquake sequence in west
Q: Is a large-scale earthquake predicted?
A: No. Scientists in the Nevada
Seismological Laboratory remind us that earthquakes cannot be predicted. There
is a small chance that a given earthquake is a foreshock of a larger one. On the
basis of historical seismic records, the Laboratory estimates there is a two
percent probability that a given earthquake is a foreshock of an earthquake with
a magnitude 1.0 unit higher within the next 10 days. For example, there
would be a two percent probability of a magnitude 6.0 within 10 days after a
magnitude 5.0. However, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the probability
of experiencing a magnitude 6.0 or larger earthquake within 50 kilometers of
This earthquake sequence has reminded us that we live in a seismically active region and MUST be prepared for the possibility of a large-scale earthquake.
Q: What about older buildings on campus?
A: Just as an earthquake cannot be
predicted, how a particular building will fare in an earthquake cannot be
accurately predicted. Some of the older buildings on campus (particularly those
built prior to 1943) are of a construction known as unreinforced masonry and may
be more susceptible to damage than newer buildings. These older,
unreinforced-masonry buildings have experienced and survived several previous
earthquakes, including a magnitude 6.1 in
Research has shown that most
earthquake injuries are the result of falling items such as furniture, heavy
pictures, mirrors or glass. In this country, full-scale building collapse is
extremely unusual. University geologists point to the experience in Wells,
The University is implementing a long-term plan to retrofit the campus’s unreinforced masonry buildings. To date, the Frandsen Humanities and Mackay Mines have been seismically retrofitted.
Q: Are there special preparedness instructions for older buildings?
A: No. The suggested preparedness steps are the same for all buildings, including your own home. “Living With Earthquakes in Nevada,“ a free earthquake preparedness guide published by the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and sponsored by several agencies with expertise in safety and earthquake preparedness, provides extensive information about how to prepare for the possibility of an earthquake and how to respond when the shaking starts. It was distributed as an insert in the May 4 edition of the Reno Gazette-Journal and is available at http://www.seismo.unr.edu/ep/nvguide/ or http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/EQ/earthquakes.htm.
Q: Which is the correct advice: “duck, cover and hold” or the “triangle of life”?
A: Experts agree on the action to take during an earthquake: duck, cover and hold.
The Nevada Earthquake Safety Council was part of a broad national coalition of agencies, including the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which endorsed the duck, cover and hold approach. It is a simple premise, based on research that has shown that most injuries sustained during an earthquake are the result of falling items or debris.
If severe shaking starts, it will be difficult to more: do not try to run outside or to another room. Instead, it is best to duck under a table or desk. Next, cover your head and eyes with your hands and arms, and turn away from possible breaking glass or falling objects. Finally, hold onto the desk or table so that it doesn’t move away from you. If there isn’t a desk or table nearby, crouch near an inside wall and cover your head and eyes with your hands and arms.
E-mails and Internet reports continue to circulate and incorrectly promote a “triangle of life” response. It is unfortunate that this urban myth continues and attempts to spur controversy about the duck, cover and hold response.
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To emphasize, “Living With