Study Shows Most U of M Buildings Vulnerable to Quakes

JANUARY 24, 2006 - Posted at 7:57 a.m. CST

MEMPHIS, TN - A new study shows more than 75 percent of the buildings on the main University of Memphis campus would probably be unsafe during a significant earthquake.

Graduate civil engineering student Mark Mize worked on the survey and says 76 of the school's 96 buildings would be vulnerable to damage, some because of structural type, others because of age.

Mize says few campus buildings meet the building code for seismic standards, which was developed in 1992.

Among the stronger buildings is the structure that houses the Center for Earthquake Research and Information.  It has a hardened core to protect computer servers and seismic instruments.

Memphis is the largest city in the New Madrid Fault Zone, which runs along the Mississippi River Valley from New Madrid, Missouri to Marked Tree, Arkansas.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)