Big Quake Would Crumble Many Portland Buildings

March 17, 2011

A structural engineer for the city of Portland says about 10 percent of the city’s buildings would tumble down in a sustained, violent earthquake.

Those are buildings like the Multnomah County Courthouse made of unreinforced masonry — bricks and mortar without steel bracing.

Engineer Amit Krumer says bricks would crumble and walls not tied into roofs or floors would fall.

KGW reports about 10 percent of the masonry buildings, like City Hall, are reinforced with braces or shock absorbers to withstand shaking.

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