Tensar engineer cautions on earthquake assumptions
Tensar International’s Jakarta-based Mike Dobie challenges assumptions about the robustness of many buildings not designed to the latest seismic information.
Predicting and mitigating the effects of earthquake is a principal civil engineering concern in the seismically active ’Ring of Fire’ along the Asia / Australia tectonic plate border.
Earthquakes, and their potential for devastation far beyond the immediate locality of the event, have burst into the public consciousness over the last decade.
The disastrous and costly effects on man-made structures, both from the ground acceleration forces of the quake and the energy carried by side effects such as tsunami, have been graphically emphasised.
As the Country Representative for the Institution of Civil Engineers within Indonesia, Tensar International’s Jakarta-based Mike Dobie has views which are respected all around the region.
In an article for UpDate, the magazine published by British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, Mike Dobie comments on recent Indonesian newspaper speculation on future earthquake incidence and the effects on Jakarta.
Mike puts some of the newspaper arguments into context about Jakarta’s buildings’ ability to withstand different earthquake magnitudes, and how new seismic data should be urgently incorporated into building design codes.
Mike concludes that, although the immediate Indonesian area has been relatively quiet seismically over the last two or three years, this could easily change with a high magnitude earthquake at any time.
Assumptions that buildings could survive this may be premature, as many have not been designed to the latest seismic information; this needs assessment by the building owners.
In addition, although Indonesia has adequate seismic design codes and standards, there is always the question whether seismic data has actually been adequately incorporated into the buildings’ construction.
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