Impact of Earthquakes on Buildings

Impact of Earthquakes on Buildings

In Pakistan we have lived through several earthquakes in our lives. This is because we are on a geological fault line. The country has suffered greatly from devastating earthquakes. People live in fear of earthquakes. There is nothing we can do to prevent the fury of nature. The best we can do is to prepare for the worst when devastating earthquakes do hit.

What are Earthquakes?

Earthquakes are caused for a few reasons. There are four layers in the earth.  There is core, crust the middle layer is called mantle. On the surface there is the crust, the crust is made up of pieces called tectonic plates. There are three categories of plates including major plates, minor plates and microplates. These plates constantly rub against each other. This collision leads to earthquakes as a result of the plates crushing against each other.

The crust rests on the hot mantle. The mantle moves the plates. Plates have three different types of movements. Plates are known to either slide against each other, move apart from each other. When they move away from each other the mantle gets exposed and new crust is created. When the slide away from each other there is a lot friction, this causes the release of energy and causes earthquakes. The third one is one in which one plate gets on top of the other one. These cause the biggest earthquakes and leads to the formation of mountain ranges.

How Earthquakes Affect Buildings?

Earthquakes affect the very foundations of buildings and are the ultimate test when it comes to quality of construction. Because Downtown Giga is located in the capital which lies on a major fault line we have kept this mind and made sure that our construction is earthquake proof.

Our construction is designed to withstand even the most violent of earthquakes.

Another major thing to look out for is the damage done to the floor or the roofs of buildings. This can weaken the building. The recent earthquake that shook Mirpur and the twin cities has not caused any damage in any of our properties. This bears testimony to the quality of construction we have maintained. After the devastation of the 2005 earthquake, strict new regulations were brought into force regarding construction codes and standards. Al Ghurair Giga has strived to maintain the highest quality construction to keep our residents and Another form of structural damage that occurs after earthquakes is the floor or roof pulling away or being separated from the adjacent building supports. This can result in a decrease in structural strength and may lead to a collapse.

There are other potential areas that can get damaged in such a situation. Underground wiring and sewage systems for instance can also end up getting damaged as a result of the violent effects of earthquakes.

Earthquakes Affect

What can be done?

You should do a complete assessment of the damage as to how bad it is. It is possible for instance that the house may no longer be safe to live in. There are other potential problems that arise from having weak foundations. Once you have properly documented it you might also be able to get some form of insurance payments if you had insurance on your house. An ordinary contractor will not be able to give you a proper analysis of the situation. You need to get in touch with a structural engineer as soon as possible. It may be that the foundations are damaged beyond repair. It might not be so dire.

Natural disaster of course can never be predicted or prevented they can only be prepared for. Residents of the twin cities need to realize that the quality of construction is not just a matter of spending or saving money, it has real life and death consequences. Shoddy construction can lead to not damage to the house but will also put you and your loved ones in danger.

Thus it is critical that you do not compromise on the quality of construction.