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Earthquake Tests Look For Ways To Shore Up Hospitals

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — What happens when a series of massive earthquakes hits a five-story medical facility with an intensive care unit, operating room and elevator?

Structural engineers at the University of California, San Diego, hope to find out by repeatedly shaking a five-story fake hospital as part of a $5 million, two-week experiment that begins Tuesday.

More than 500 sensors and 80 cameras will be placed strategically throughout the building to monitor everything from the deformation of the rebar buried in its concrete foundations to the vibrating hospital beds and swaying surgical lights.

The experiment aims to help earthquake safety experts who have been focusing on shoring up structures like hospitals and schools that would help a community rebound quickly after a disaster.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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