Homes built before 1994 did not have to follow stringent earthquake codes, making a vast majority of homes vulnerable.
Recent research indicates that the Pacific Northwest is due for an earthquake of historic proportions and the area’s building stock is not expected to fare well. Seismic codes were weak or non-existent more than 40 years ago.
“Until 1974, the state of Oregon had no seismic code, and few places in the Pacific Northwest had one appropriate to a magnitude-9.0 earthquake until 1994,” an article in The New Yorker says. “The vast majority of buildings in the region were constructed before then.”