Assessment of Damage to Residential Buildings Caused by the Northridge Earthquake   [open pdf - 1MB]

"This report presents the findings of a damage assessment survey of the Northridge earthquake. The primary purpose is to provide a statistically-based representation of the seismic performance of residential construction relative to local construction characteristics. In addition, case studies of more extreme failures provide insight into the causes of life-threatening performance problems. The Northridge Earthquake occurred at 4:31 a.m. on January 17, 1994. Its epicenter was located in a densely populated area of Los Angeles county near the community of Northridge. Over 30 deaths were reported as a direct result of the tremor, and a total death toll of 58 was attributed to both direct and indirect causes. Current estimates of the severity of this earthquake place it at a magnitude of ML= 6.4 on the Richter scale (Mw=6.7 and Ms=6.8). Uncorrected peak horizontal ground accelerations were recorded at 0.9g near the epicenter and varied from 0.1g to 1.8g at specific nearfield locations. In terms of the effective peak horizontal ground accelerations, the 475 year return period design estimate of 0.4 g was exceeded by a factor of 1.5 to 2 at several locations. A large 'pulse' of ground movement produced during the 15 and 20 second duration by this earthquake is among the worst recorded in U.S. history. Large ground movements from the earthquake were felt as far away as Las Vegas."

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: https://www.huduser.gov
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