LLIS Best Practice: U.S. Multi-Hazards Used in Support of Utah Seismic Safety Legislation [open pdf - 29KB]
"The State of Utah has recently taken important steps to reduce the vulnerability of schools to damaging earthquakes, as well as addressing its Unreinforced Masonry (URM) building stock. U.S. Multi-Hazards (Hazus-MH) has played an important role in these initiatives. The model has sharpened the focus on the vulnerability of schools in this region to damaging earthquakes. Specifically, Hazus-MH has been used to estimate losses and potential casualties from scenario earthquakes in a region that is among the most susceptible in the U.S. to seismic activity. The Wasatch Front region of Utah is an extremely active seismic zone that experiences approximately 700 earthquakes per year. Though many of these temblors are less than 3.0 on the Richter magnitude scale, a 7.0 earthquake will occur roughly once every 350 years along the central portion of the Wasatch Fault. The last large quake along the fault occurred between 400 and 600 years ago. The Wasatch Front is home to Utah's most populous counties, including the counties of Salt Lake, Utah and Davis. More than 80 percent of Utah's population is located in areas that are subject to large earthquakes. Although Utah has been a national leader in incorporating seismic design into modern building codes, the seismic threat was not widely recognized in Utah until the mid-1970s. As a result, many (±185,000) of the buildings in the area are 'Unreinforced Masonry Buildings' or 'URMs,' which are brick and mortar structures that are not reinforced by steel, and tend to be brittle and inflexible during earthquake events."
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