Japan will be recovering for years from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck there a week ago. Arguably, of all the places in the world to get hit by such a disaster, Japan was the best prepared. Yet still there was devastation. Thousands of people died. Towns were literally washed away. Several nuclear reactors were damaged beyond repair. How did this happen? What technologies and engineering were used to mitigate earthquake and tsunami risks in Japan, and how did they fail?
And could it happen here?
Today we're talking about engineering for earthquakes, and how what we know about geology affects how buildings and other structures are designed for various locations.
Our experts today are Andy Thompson, an engineer at Arup and author of the book Peace of Mind in Earthquake Country, and Tom Holzer, research geologist for the Earth Hazards Team of the USGS in Menlo Park, Calif.
Want to help the victims of the Japan earthquake? Donate your old gadgets via the CNET program at Gazelle. All proceeds will go to the Red Cross.
Some of our discussion points… Read more