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The programme examines the change of attitude of the California authorities to earthquakes, from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake to the present day.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: TD342, Systems performance: human factors and systems failures
Item code: TD342; 09
First transmission date: 20-06-1976
Published: 1976
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:30
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Producer: John Groom
Contributors: Bruce Bolt; Geoff Peters
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Alaskan earthquake 1964; California; Earthquakes; Niigata Japan; Nuclear power plants; Research projects; San Francisco earthquake 1906; School buildings; Tsunami
Footage description: Over still shots of San Francisco circa 1900, still shots of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and films shots of the resulting fire, Geoff Peters introduced the programme. He describes the events of that time. Prof. Bruce Bolt (Univ. of California, Berkeley) and Geoff Peters explain the reasons for earthquake activity in California. Animated diagrams showing the San Andreas fault and shots of San Francisco accompany the discussion. Film shots of the Univ. of California earthquake field observatory at Hollister, California. Marvin Harris (Field Station Technician) and Geoff Peters explain the work which is done here, pointing out some of the problems. Film shots of instruments at the station registering a U.S. nuclear test explosion in Nevada. Prof. Karl Steinbrugge (Univ. of California, Berkeley), Geoff Peters and Henry Degenkolb (structural engineer) discuss the change in attitude of the California authorities to earthquakes between 1906 and 1933. Because of economic pressures the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was officially denied by the authorities while the 1933 Long Beach earthquake which severely damaged several schools brought action. Shots of the San Francisco 1906 and the Long Beach 1933 earthquakes. Film shots of the aftermath of the massive 1964 earthquake in Alaska. Geoff Peters explains how this, together with an appreciation of the risk of building nuclear reactors in earthquake zones, led to an increase in research funds for seismology and engineering. Film shots of an experiment which tests, by simulating earthquake conditions, the strength of concrete blocks of the type used in atomic reactor shields. Peters and Jim Slossen (California State Geologist) discuss the safety of a nuclear reactor built on the Berkeley campus very near a major fault, the Hayward fault. Geoff Peters, over shots of the Bay area, explains the importance of soil characteristics when assessing danger in earthquake prone areas. Film shots of the 1964 Niigata earthquake in Japan during which liquifaction of the soil was a major factor. Jim Slossen and then Geoff Peters, look at other effects of this earthquake which could have important implications for California. More film shots of the earthquake as they talk, particularly of flooding and fire in oil storage facilities. Ed Joyce (San Francisco's Office of Emergency Services), Geoff Peters and Eugene Haas discuss the development of a central disaster direction agency in San Francisco following the experience of the 1906 earthquake. Some still shots of the fire which followed the 1906 earthquake. Geoff Peters and Ed. Joyce go on to discuss some areas in San Francisco which are still at high risk such as Chinatown and high rise buildings. Peters and Joyce next assess the effects of a major earthquake on the San Francisco transportation system, particularly the elevated freeways, bridges and BART system. Shots of elevated freeways, bridges and BART trains. Contingency plans for dealing with such an emergency are then discussed. Plans include the use of the Sheriff's Air Squadron and co-ordinating military aid. Shots of light aircraft parked at an airport and of a relief exercise involving the military. The effects of a major earthquake on the Californian telephone system are discussed briefly by Joyce and Haas. Peters and Joyce sum up. Credits (over a tape recording of a telephone conversation during a minor earthquake in San Francisco in 1957).
Master spool number: 6HT/72197
Production number: 00525_5244
Videofinder number: 3585
Available to public: no