Academia Sinica pro­poses quake re­sis­tance mea­sures

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Academia Sinica, Tai­wan’s top re­search in­sti­tute, pub­lished a re­port Mon­day with sug­ges­tions on re­duc­ing the dam­age caused by earth­quakes, even as a mag­ni­tude 6.3 earth­quake jolted eastern Tai­wan ear­lier that day.

To re­duce the dam­age earth­quakes can cause, the re­port sug­gested an up­grad­ing of older houses to bet­ter re­sist earth­quakes, strength­en­ing the alarm sys­tem for earth­quakes, and re­in­forc­ing the abil­ity to evacu- ate res­i­dents and ac­com­mo­date evac­uees when an earth­quake strikes.

The re­port also sug­gested im­prove­ments in the abil­ity of the gov­ern­ment and en­ter­prises to op­er­ate in the event of an earth­quake, as well as pro­mot­ing ed­u­ca­tion on proper earth­quake re­sponses among the public.

Tai­wan is prone to earth­quake dam­age for sev­eral rea­sons, in­clud­ing its lo­ca­tion, the devel­op­ment of ur­ban ar­eas and the large num­ber of older build­ings, the re­port said.

Tai­wan is lo­cated where the Eurasian tec­tonic plate and the Philip­pine Sea plate meet, and earth­quakes of­ten re­sult when the two plates come into con­tact with each other.

Safety is at stake, with peo­ple crowded into ur­ban ar­eas, which leads to a con­cen­tra­tion of build­ings, trans­porta­tion net­works and util­ity pipe­lines in th­ese ar­eas, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Losses will be highly likely to re­sult in the event of an earth- quake, as some 1.33 mil­lion, or 35 per­cent, of the 3.78 mil­lion houses in Tai­wan, are over 30 years old. Some 940,000 of the old houses are lo­cated in New Taipei, many of which are sit­u­ated in com­mu­ni­ties with nar­row al­leys.

Se­ri­ous ca­su­al­ties and dam­age will re­sult when a mag­ni­tude 7 shal­low earth­quake with an epi­cen­ter lo­cated up to 70 km be­low ground strikes, the re­port said.

Some 22,000

earth­quakes shake Tai­wan ev­ery year on av­er­age, with over 600 of them caus­ing vi­bra­tions that peo­ple are able to feel, the re­port said.

The re­port was com­piled by Chen Liang- chuan, vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor of ur­ban plan­ning and dis­as­ter man­age­ment at Ming Chuan Uni­ver­sity, Tony C. Liu, vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor of civil en­gi­neer­ing at Na­tional Tai­wan Uni­ver­sity and Hongey Chen, head of the Na­tional Science and Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter for Dis­as­ter Re­duc­tion.

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