Thursday, October 15, 2009

Will Our Buildings Withstand Earthquake?

After experiencing those earthquake shakes at my condo and office building before, it's really not comforting to have read about a Bernama news report that Malaysian buildings cannot withstand a strong earthquake even if it happens at a neighbouring country.

Indonesia's many earthquakes have caused many tremors in Malaysia and a 6.0 Richter Scale shake in Indonesia could be felt in Malaysia easily.

A professor from the Universiti Sains Malaysia's Disaster Research Unit has commented that less than 1% of Malaysia's buildings have constructed the buildings factoring in the earthquake situation. My my.

Which of the buildings in Malaysia then?
Answer: Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers, Penang Bridge and Komtar. Only three structures? That's even less than 0.1%. For those of you whose buildings that are not mentioned .......... ahhh you know what to do.

My office building shook on 30 Sept 2009 when a strong earthquake hit Padang in Indonesia. It was a correct decision to evacuate the building no matter what.

I did hear from friends that not all their colleagues evacuated their offices on that day with some saying that it's just a tremor from Indonesia (if it was an earthquake) and some said that there's no earthquake in Malaysia. Some people really take things for granted.

A structural engineer has told me before that even if it was just a tremor due to an earthquake that has happened faraway, a building may not collapse immediately. Structural damage may have occured but we don't know. If there was a damage and if the structure was built according to actual designs, the structure could withstand the damage temporarily up to say thirty minutes. That's enough time to evacuate and walk faraway from the building.

What about you? Will you evacuate or you are more worried about what others may say about you being the first person to run away?

Reading: Less Than One Per Cent Of Buildings In Malaysia Have Earthquake Preventive Measures - Bernama

Related post - Earthquake Shook My Office Building
Tags: Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers, Penang Bridge, Komtar, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Disaster Research Unit, Earthquake, Richter Scale, Structural Engineer



Blogger WanWan said...

i definitely evacuate lo... run for my life first...

15 October, 2009 21:21  
Blogger bZbee said...

sometimes i wonder...will i run like crazy or what?..i'm usually calm in panicky times...except when i handle i guess..i'll not run but walk...and leave it to nature...

16 October, 2009 11:42  
Blogger Of Tr@vels, 3nvironment and bl@bl@bl@ said...

Hie thanx for your visit..
Well for my comment on this, the tectotic plate is actually shifting but not that much ( i dunno how many cm though) but if it could really affect Malaysia, definitely the whole nation's gonna collapse..non Earthquake proof building is one matter..the quality of the materials for buildings in Malaysia is another know what i meant..hehe

17 October, 2009 19:56  
Blogger Convivialdingo said...

In the Mexico City Earthquake, 1984, several buildings collapsed. It was later discovered that not only were the buildings lacking good design, but that the metal reinforcing bars (rebar) were stripped from the building during construction to save costs. They never had a chance.

With any large building - IMHO you should always exit the building when a quake occurs, and the building engineer should certify the safety before people reenter.

20 October, 2009 23:48  
Blogger foongpc said...

There's no earthquake in Malaysia that's why developers never factor in earthquake situation when constructing buildings.

But they forget that even tremors can weaken the building. You don't need a full blown earthquake to do that!

So it's better to be safe than sorry. Better leave the building if experience tremors!

I'm glad my favourite building, the Petronas Twin Towers can withstand an earthquake! Good! At least it will still stand when others have tumbled! LOL!

21 October, 2009 00:48  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

wanwan - u are smart then

bzbee - just need to be alert and move a bit faster than usual

bl@bl@bl@ - so its advisable to leave a building when there's a tremor

conviv - i'm sure there were cost cutting measures somewhere along the way. some builders are just too greedy

foong - its definite advisable to evacuate, even for the twin towers, just in case .... u know

22 October, 2009 22:44  
Blogger foongpc said...

Yeah, just in case. Haha!

Maybe the MRR2 had cracks because of the earthquake in Indonesia some time back! : )

23 October, 2009 02:22  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

foong - mrr2 piers are being wrapped up nicely if u drive past it nowadays

17 November, 2009 23:32  

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