Washington state finds schools unsuited for earthquakes

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SEATTLE (AP) — Most of the 222 school buildings that officials examined across Washington state would be unsafe to occupy after powerful earthquakes.

The Seattle Times reported Monday that assessments by the Washington Department of Natural Resources found that about a quarter of the schools would not be able to be repaired and 43% posed a high or very high risk for loss of life from quakes.

Department Chief Hazard Geologist Corina Forson says the buildings selected for assessment make up a "representative, meaningful sample" of the state's 4,444 permanent school buildings.

Officials determined that the most vulnerable buildings are the older ones and those built from unreinforced masonry or under reinforced concrete.

Forson says the department plans to examine 350 more schools.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com


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