Connected Cities, Engineering, San Francisco, seismic

This week marks the 25th anniversary of San Francisco’s Loma Prieta earthquake. In 1906, three quarters of the city was destroyed by an earthquake and the fires that followed. As California routinely feels minor quakes, cities around the world continue to be devastated without warning by major seismic events. With lives, homes, businesses, and infrastructure at stake, earthquake readiness is a major factor in urban resilience.

Quake-proofing the city is a near-impossible challenge, but it’s critical that “lifeline structures” – those needed to sustain life and support recovery operations – be as resilient as possible. We created this info-graphic to examine the key points of seismic vulnerability in a city and the strategies that can be taken to strengthen them. Also, explore an existing essential services facility that was engineered to withstand a magnitude 7.5 earthquake.

October 16 is the International ShakeOut Day of Action, when nearly 20 million people worldwide will participate in earthquake drills and disaster preparedness activities.


Jake_89x100Jake Herson ( is managing editor for the Connected Cities blog.

Originally published Oct 15, 2014

Author: Jacob Herson