Researchers at Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science looked at the structural damage done by two completely different types of natural disaster, and the , and found surprising similarities between the two.
Their studies show that large masses of water that move onshore, or storm surges, cause entirely different types of damage as compared to other factors, such as high winds. This is in part because buildings are constructed to withstand the downward pull of gravity, but water from storm surges pushes those structures up and sideways. They also turn normally stationary objects, such as cars and shipping containers, into floating projectiles.
The U.S. 90 Biloxi Bay Bridge (between Biloxi and Ocean Springs, Miss.), shown here, collapsed during Hurricane Katrina. These photos are part of an exhibit the Princeton group put together that explores unexpected similarities between structural damage caused by Katrina and the tsunami.
May 12, 2007 11:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Princeton University
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