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     Volume 4 Issue 28 | January 7, 2005 |

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Earthquake and its Aftermath

Sanyat Sattar

Earthquakes in Human History
Jelle Zeilinga de Boer & Donald Theodore Sanders
Princeton University Press; January 2005
ISBN: 0691050708

Weekend scholars and disaster fans will find the physical and the social sciences blend interestingly, if sometimes a bit awkwardly, in this study of earthquakes across the centuries. As in their previous book, Volcanoes in Human History, coauthors de Boer and Sanders consider the repercussions of natural disasters on everything from literature and religion to politics and science. Early chapters consider biblical references to a quaking earth and show how 14th- and 18th-century earthquakes in England and Portugal were taken as signs from God (encouraged by fiery preacher John Wesley, Londoners who had suffered through several small quakes in 1750 saw Portugal's disastrous 1755 quake as yet another warning of God's displeasure with sinners). A discussion of the New Madrid, quake of 1811 notes that while it was one of the strongest ever recorded in North America (it was followed by 1,874 aftershocks), it remains relatively unknown because the region was little populated. Modern-era quakes in San Francisco (1906), Kanto, Japan (1923), Peru (1970) and Nicaragua (1972) round out the book; the links between seismic aftermath and revolutionary ferment in the latter two countries nicely pinpoint the significant interplay between planetary and sociopolitical upheaval.


Disaster by the Bay
H. Paul Jeffers
The Lyons Press; October 2003
ISBN: 1592281397

In this vivid, fast-paced chronicle of what has been called the worst peacetime disaster to ever befall America, veteran journalist and author H. Paul Jeffers provides a gripping account of those nightmarish days in April 1906. Drawing on a wide range of eyewitness material, Jeffers follows a variety of individuals as they come to grips with an unthinkable event. Celebrities like Enrico Caruso and John Barrymore; the civil and military authorities who tried to bring order out of chaos; merchants who struggled heroically to save their shops and goods from the ruins and the flames; the suddenly homeless ordinary men and women who composed messages on scraps of paper and sticks of wood to tell of their survival (all of which, incredibly, the Postal Service actually delivered): from all these and many other perspectives Jeffers creates a riveting mosaic of catastrophe and its aftermath. With the one-hundredth anniversary of the quake approaching, this skillful narrative will be of keen interest to readers from West Coast to East. Includes forty-eight black-and-white illustrations.

Stochastic Structural Dynamics in Earthquake Engineering
G. D. Manolis & P. K. Koliopoulos
Computational Mechanics, Inc.; May 2001
ISBN: 1853128511

Earthquake engineering is a vast subject encompassing seismology, geology, geotechnical engineering, structural mechanics, dynamics, and the design and construction of civil engineering works, as well as issues of earthquake preparedness, post-seismic recovery and reconstruction. Tailored specifically to the needs of the earthquake practitioner, this book applies stochastic structural dynamics to typical problems in earthquake engineering. Material on random vibrations and stochastic mechanics is retained or adapted where relevant to the needs of civil engineers practicing a seismic design of structures. Also accessible to graduate students and researchers working in this field, the text contains many examples and exercises with solutions.


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