Reducing earthquake damage

Published Jul 01, 2013 08:09am

This is with reference to the bureau report, ‘New building technique can cut quake damage’ (June 19).

It said that a full scale retrofitted confined brick masonry building seems to have performed better than un-reinforced buildings. This technique is over three decades old.

The modern technology, which is being currently practised in many third world countries, is the use of gadgets for base isolation and seismic dampers.

This is known as passive seismic resistant techniques.

Research on earthquake resistance around the world has indicated that seismic energy absorbing capacity of reinforced cement concrete and reinforced brick masonry buildings are prone to fail in a severe earthquake zone such as Quetta and Kashmir.

This is because there is an upper limit to their seismic energy absorbing capacity.

However, by installing base isolator pads and dampers in any building, it is possible to totally absorb the earthquake shock energy of a building, be it of bricks, re-inforced concrete or steel.

This technique is both cost effective and can be retrofitted in an existing structure also.

JAVED IQBAL RISHI Karachi

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