An earthquake measuring 8.5 on the Richter Scale has struck 62 buildings located throughout the world. The buildings were designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.
Damage varies from minor surface warping to, in a few cases, imminent collapse. All occupants managed to safely escape the slowly collapsing Marques de Riscal Hotel, pictured above.
MIT geologist J. David Sallen says, "We're all familiar with the planet's major tectonic fault lines, but there also exists thousands of less dangerous microfaults, including the one I study, which lies under the MIT campus. The faults form a fracture network connected within the outer crust, so when one microfault moves, they all move.
"Building over a known microfault is generally avoided. Safety officials tell me that Gehry's Stata Center at MIT is safe to re-enter, but there's no way I'm going back in there. The building is clearly teetering."
Gehry himself, when asked if he knew about the microfaults, replied, "Hell, yeah. I'm the only architect with my work on faults because I'm the only architect with the balls to do it.
"I knew about the faults, so I designed the structures to flex with a quake. So, some of the walls got bent. Some of them are leaning. Some of them broke. Big deal. Given the magnitude of the disaster, I think my designs held up extremely well.
"My only regret is the complete structural failure of my Marques de Riscal. I thank God that no lives were lost."