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Infographic

Look at how apartments can collapse during an earthquake

Many California apartments with garages and carports on the ground story that were built before the 1980s are vulnerable to collapse during an earthquake. They are known as "soft-story buildings." Here's why they're at risk.

Read full story: As San Francisco rents soar, tenants still willing to pay for earthquake safety

Common weaknesses in soft-story buildings

Few walls and flimsy columns support the ground story.


During an earthquake

The first floor crumbles during an earthquake.


Fixing the problem

Adding steel frames to the ground story can strengthen the building's vulnerability to collapsing.


Sources: Structural engineer David Cocke; Federal Emergency Management Agency. Graphics reporting by Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia.

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