i am a caltech engineering grad who had some informal exposure to earthquake engineering while in ca. i was a student at caltech during the whittier narrows quake and lived in pasadena during the northridge quake.
agree with your corner post about capitalism. however, do not get too cocky! an earthquake on our east coast would have a similar effect to haiti. the iran comparison, with its long history of quakes, is more analagous to northridge. …
the two big collapses of the northrdge quake (the northridge meadows complex and the mall parking garage) involved buildings that were far more robust than the overwhelming majority of east coast buildings.
to this day, when i walk into a typical east coast parking garage, i estimate the quake magnitude required to bring it down. rarely is my uneducated estimate much more than 6 and there are a few 3’s.
also, consider the typical east coast brownstone or similar brick townhouse. these are little more than 20+ foot high stacks of bricks