Buildings Most Damaged in Alaskan Quake Were Outside Code Enforcement Zone

By Peter Fabris | December 12, 2019
Anchorage Alaska
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Buildings in certain parts of the Anchorage area suffered more damage than in other sections of the metro area from a 7.1-Magnitude earthquake on Nov. 30, 2018. Anchorage’s northernmost communities of Eagle River and Chugiak saw more structural damage than anywhere else in the earthquake impact zone.

Those communities are located outside the Anchorage’s Building Safety Service Area and are not subject to the same stringent permitting enforcement and inspections. Within the Anchorage area, about 4 in every 100 owners of homes built after 1990 applied for federal disaster relief. In Eagle River and Chugiak, about 1 in 5 owners of post-1990-built homes did so.

New construction built to code includes plywood shear walls and the IBC standard number and spacing of nails to ensure seismic motion does not split walls apart.

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