On Shaky Ground

John J. Nance, Author, Howard Cady, Author William Morrow & Company $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-06648-2
On the heels of T. A. Weppenheimer's The Coming Quake (Nonfiction Forecasts, Aug. 5) appears this excellent study by the author of Blind Trust , in part historical and in part admonitory. Nance goes into detail on the Alaskan quake of 1964, the last major seismic disaster in North America, and also furnishes information on the Mississippi Valley quake of 1811 and the one in Chile in 1960, showing how great the damage can be. He treats the history of seismology and its exponential growth in our century, alluding to two contemporary temblors that were predicted: Haicheng, China, in 1975 and Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1978. But while demonstrating that seismology is becoming an exact science, he also points out that the public is often deaf to the warnings of experts, citing the examples of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., and Anchorage, Alaska, where people have rebuilt on ground that has proved to be unsafe. With 39 states of the U.S. declared ``significant seismic hazard zones,'' Nance outlines ways to minimize disaster; his message merits wide attention. Photos not seen by PW. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 10 pages - 978-0-380-70743-0
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