Shaky Similarities Between Chile and Cali

Despite extensive planning in Chile, 432 people died in the 8.8-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami in late February. In an Associated Press article, Brad Haynes says that California, Oregon and Washington have yet to fully learn the extent of their own level of risk.

“Chile and the U.S. Pacific Coast have more in common than their geology,” Haynes writes. “They share advanced construction codes, bustling coastal cities, modern skyscrapers and veteran emergency services.”

The U.S. Pacific Coast has much to learn from the Chile disaster, such as what happens when building codes and coastal flood maps are not enforced; the importance of hospitals staying upright and open; and the fact that tourists need to be taught about the dangers of tsunamis, especially if they camp by the sea.

According to a report prepared for the California Senate’s Health Committee in February, one in 10 California hospitals will not be safe from collapse by 2015. The state’s hospitals are not expected to meet the standard set by Chile – which fortunately had 72 hours worth of gas and water at many of its hospitals after the earthquake – until 2030.

To read the Associated Press article, click here: