A recent deadly earthquake in Taiwan toppled many buildings, including a high-rise apartment complex that collapsed and killed dozens of residents. Investigators are blaming the collapse on the building's developers.
Experts say the damage would have been worse if it weren’t for Taiwan’s relatively modern building codes based on guidelines known as the Uniform Building Codes. These seismic safety standards were developed in the U.S. and are used by California as well, structural engineer Michael Cochran told producers at Southern California Public Radio.
This got them thinking about their area, which is also prone to earthquakes. How do the buildings in California compare to those in Taiwan? Here is what they found:
One problem facing both L.A. and Taiwan though, is the number of older, vulnerable concrete buildings put up before the modern codes of the 1980s.
These are known as non-ductile concrete buildings and can collapse under strong shaking. Researchers from UC Berkeley said they identified around 1,500 such buildings in L.A.