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Sacramento Engineer: Timing Of Napa Earthquake Prevented Fatalities

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Anjali Hemphill Anjali Hemphill
Anjali Hemphill joined CBS 13 in June 2012 and she's happy to make the...
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NAPA (CBS13) — As cleanup continued from Sunday’s Napa earthquake, engineers were assessing the damage done.

Bob Glasgow is a structural engineer from Sacramento who spent his day walking the streets of Downtown Napa to get a good look at the damage.

“Many building owners don’t realize that pretty much all buildings even built to code today are not earthquake-proof,” he said. “They are designed to get people out safely, that’s it.”

He specializes in retrofitting buildings to withstand large earthquakes. He says a lot of the damage done in Napa was from ornamental facades on the older buildings that fell off during the shaking.

At Ristorante Allegria, workers are now building a temporary overhang so pieces above the walkway do not fall on customers.

Glasgow also discovered many signs of buckling where the walls meet the roof. He points out that entire brick walls came apart and fell to the ground.

It’s also fortunate, he says, that the quake happened at 3:20 a.m.

“What’s really troubling is looking around and seeing all the giant pieces of stone in the street, the pile of bricks behind us here,” he said. “If this earthquake would have happened at noon on Sunday there would have been deaths.”

He recommends business owners should start being proactive with how they shelve products, saying some could have avoided a lot of the lost and broken merchandise.

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