Academia Sinica proposes quake resistance measures
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.
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.