Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Earthquake Study Suggests Simple Building Fixes Can Save Lives

Date:
October 31, 2005
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
While it is too early to know what, if anything, could have been done to prevent buildings from collapsing during the 2005 Kashmiri earthquake, a report released this past summer has shown that simple fixes could have saved lives during an earthquake in Bingol, Turkey, in 2003. An American-Turkish team of engineers said many of the 168 deaths could have been prevented had builders followed Turkey's existing structural codes.

In the foreground lie the remains of steel lockers and beds, amidst other debris, from Celtiksuyu Boarding School. The school was devastated by the May 2003 earthquake in Bingol, Turkey.
Credit: William A. Mitchell, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)

While it is too early to know what, if anything, could have been done to prevent buildings from collapsing during the 2005 Kashmiri earthquake, a report released this past summer has shown that simple fixes could have saved lives during an earthquake in Bingol, Turkey, in 2003. An American-Turkish team of engineers said many of the 168 deaths could have been prevented had builders followed Turkey's existing structural codes.

Related Articles


Led by Purdue University civil engineering professors Julio Ramirez and Mete Sozen, the NSF-supported research team presented their findings at the 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering in 2004 and published their findings this past summer in the Canadian Association for Earthquake Engineering newsletter.

The researchers found that many of the failed buildings had "captive columns," slender, reinforced-concrete pillars that stand at the ends of shorter walls. The engineers consider the structures to be a "fundamental and classic" flaw -- when a quake strikes, the portion of the column above the wall is unsupported and receives the full brunt of seismic forces.

After each column breaks, the building's weight is held by fewer and fewer of these pillars, resulting in a domino effect. Had supporting walls been present, the pillars would not have moved as violently from side to side, and the walls would have supported some of the overlying load. That simple fix could have prevented the collapse of the school buildings.

The researchers, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and TUBITAK, the NSF counterpart in Turkey, made their report available to Turkish officials. The researchers hope their report on the damage from the 6.4 magnitude quake will help influence construction practices. While relatively few building modifications would be needed to upgrade existing buildings, researchers fear that the same scenario could play out again in Turkey, the Caribbean, Latin America and elsewhere if officials do not enforce codes more strictly.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Earthquake Study Suggests Simple Building Fixes Can Save Lives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051031133932.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2005, October 31). Earthquake Study Suggests Simple Building Fixes Can Save Lives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051031133932.htm
National Science Foundation. "Earthquake Study Suggests Simple Building Fixes Can Save Lives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051031133932.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers' houses at a tea plantation in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, an official said. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins