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    Next earthquake can flatten Salt Lake City buildings


    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The mountain basin that cradles this town is due for a whopping earthquake, the kind that's reliably on time and can topple buildings in a heartbeat.

    With their borrowed time, Utah lawmakers are shoring up the marble Capitol building against the inevitable.

    But they can't soon afford to brace another known deathtrap: the University of Utah's main library.

    In a quake of magnitude 5.0 or greater, the building is expected to "pancake'' on itself.

    "That's why at night I study at the law library,'' said Dwayne Madry, 23, an undergraduate history and chemistry student.

    Officials say two out of every three buildings here are considered unsafe - even from moderate shaking.

    Geologists for years have warned that the basin is due for a powerful jolt, one that returns with fair regularity about every 1,300 years.

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