In ‘San Andreas,’ It’s the Science That’s Shaky, Quake Experts Say

30 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 things the ‘San Andreas’ movie got wrong (and 1 thing that’s right).

They could have kept their apocalyptic vision intact and still been scientifically accurate—just by moving the blockbuster movie’s mega earthquakes and massive tsunami about a thousand miles north to Portland and Seattle.Hollywood action star Dwayne Johnson says he decided to take up his recently released disaster flick, San Andreas, as it had a human element. “I loved the script after reading the first 30 pages.

Director Brad Peyton, who reunites with the star for the second time since Journey 2: The Mysterious Island in 2012, admitted he fell victim to one of the actor’s tricks. “He’s a total joker on set, absolutely. But they opted for California and the San Andreas, which, scientists say, can’t produce a magnitude 9 event, let alone a city-inundating wave of water. (Moviegoers beware: Spoilers ahead!) “Even if the entire San Andreas were to break all at once from north to south you wouldn’t get anything larger than an 8-ish earthquake,” said Jean Paul Ampuero, an assistant professor at Caltech — the institution from which the movie’s scientist-hero, played by Paul Giamatti, is supposed to hail. Johnson says the already-hot Furious franchise was propelled to another level with the farewell to standout star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash on Nov. 30, 2013. “It was a lot of different elements coming together at the same time, and the lead element being Paul, seeing him for the very last time,” Johnson told theater owners last month at the CinemaCon convention. Still, Johnson added his own star power as Luke Hobbs, with Rentrak analyst Paul Dergarabedian calling him “the ultimate box-office supercharger when added to the mix of existing franchises.” In March, Johnson hosted Saturday Night Live, opening with a skit about being “franchise Viagra.” His films — including the G.I. Here’s a look at what the filmmakers got right and what they got wrong: Extensive seismic analysis says the probability of failure is very, very remote at the Hoover Dam.

It’s embarrassingly bad – he got me so bad I refuse to say it out loud in public.” “He’s just such an amazing human being – he’s so caring and kind, he’s very god-like. Next month, he steps into the coveted HBO arena with new series Ballers (premiering June 21), which stars Johnson as a superstar athlete trying to reinvent himself as a financial manager. I’ve always seen first responders as unsung heroes and very special people, because when everyone else is running away from danger, they run into it,” says the 43-year-old actor. In between a heavy worldwide promotional schedule for San Andreas (current stop: China), Johnson already has started filming the comedy Central Intelligence with Kevin Hart, in which he plays a lethal but dorky hitman. “Things are great right now, but you’ve got to hustle,” he says. “You have to create opportunities for yourself.

He was in a relatively minor 4.7 magnitude quake in 2009. “I was right under my chandelier in this large foyer, and all of a sudden it started to shake. That is the silver lining.” There’s no doubt that both Northern and Southern California are overdue for the “big one,” the magnitude 7 to 8 event that will shake San Francisco and Los Angeles to their cores. But the aftermath will look a lot different from what is portrayed in ‘San Andreas.’ The movie’s computer-generated scenes showing tall buildings crumbling and toppling in both cities leave real-life geophysicist Jack Boatwright concerned that viewers will get the wrong impression about the safety of modern skyscrapers. “Those buildings are designed not to collapse in an earthquake,” said Boatwright, the Northern California coordinator for the Earthquake Hazards Program at the U.S.

You’re more likely to be hit by something falling in your office than by a building falling down.” While skyscrapers did fine, certain areas of the city, like the Marina District, did not. A month ago, Johnson, his longtime girlfriend Lauren Hashian and his 13-year-old daughter Simone (with ex-wife Dany Garcia) practiced quake drills and stocked disaster kits (quirky item: his beloved Pop-Tarts). City planners learned from that, said Patrick Otellini, chief resilience officer and director of the Earthquake Safety Implementation Program for the City and County of San Francisco. Another issue was buildings that collapsed because they had too little structural support on their bottom floors, which were serving as either garages or shops.

Legislation passed in 2013 mandated that some 5,000 of these buildings, which house about 125,000 San Franciscans, would need to be retrofitted by 2020, Otellini said. The Van Norman Dam in Granada Hills was perilously close to collapsing after the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, forcing the evacuation of 80,000 area residents.

The Shakeout simulation estimated that five high-rise steel-frame buildings could collapse after cracks form in connections in the building’s skeleton. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the most striking part of the movie “was the sense of complete panic that people have” in the moment the quake strikes. Naeim, the engineer, was critical of the film in making the earthquake so outlandishly over the top that viewers might throw up their hands and think there is nothing they can do to be prepared.

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