How concrete buildings fail in earthquakes

Steel support within concrete columns is a key factor in the strength of a concrete building. Below is a comparison brittle and stronger columns and how they can behave during an earthquake. Full coverage

How concrete buildings fail in earthquakes

During an earthquake

Comparing brittle and stronger columns during an earthquake

Potentially at-risk buildings

Map below shows buildings in Los Angeles County that may be constructed of concrete and could pose a risk in a major earthquake. Click here or on image below to view an interactive map.

How one building collapsed

The Pyne Gould Corp. Building collapsed in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2011; 18 people died. About five seconds after the shaking began, the building leaned to the east and quickly fell, according to witnesses and experts.

Sources: UCLA engineering professor John Wallace; L.A. County assessor; L.A. Department of Building and Safety; ESRI; TeleAtlas; Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission Volume 2 of the Final Report; BECA; New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment; Times reporting

Credits: Graphics reporting by Rong-Gong Lin II, Rosanna Xia and Doug Smith. Graphics by Raoul Ranoa.