Fire Following Earthquake

Issue 4 and Volume 138.

Fire Following Earthquake FEATURES DISASTER MANAGEMENT Two recent earthquakes that occurred in the United States demonstrate the variety of demands that are placed upon the fire service during a major disaster. A problem that has been given relatively little attention, and yet is potentially of disastrous proportions, has been the subject of fire spread in urban regions following a major earthquake. This phenomenon is important in cities with a large building stock composed primarily of wood (e.g., Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA) and with industrial installations, such as oil refineries, large factories, chemical plants, etc. The problem is an especially complex and challenging one since an earthquake has the potential to initiate a chain of events that can damage structures and urban lifelines, such as water supply, gas, electricity, transportation and communications systems. A moderately damaging seismic event could result in a conflagration* of disastrous proportions. The single most…

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