• Multi-storied buildings built of unreinforced masonry are the most vulnerable. Beginning in the 1930's, building codes began to address the issue of earthquake design, and the process has continued to the present day, with new regulations being issued about every 10 years as our understanding of earthquakes has increased. So in a practical sense, the older a building is, the more vulnerable to damage it will be simply because it was built under an older building code. The worst buildings are those built before 1930 from unreinforced brick. However, I would regard any building built before 1997 as unsafe in a major earthquake. That's because the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles was really instrumental in making many cities get serious about their building codes, not only updating them but enforcing them as well. Those new codes and policies began to take effect in 1997.
    • excellhomes
      Buildings those have not flexible material to face earth quakes.
  • A building with a "soft story" is particularly susceptible to collapse-type failure. A soft story is a lower/ground floor with large open areas such as a building with many garage doors on the ground level. As far as the materials are concerned, I believe more ductile materials fare better. A structural engineer will be best suited to answer these concerns.
  • In general, buildings built of bricks or stone and mortar. Cinder block construction with a lot of steel rebar reinforcements is usually OK.

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