Earthquake Risk of Schools

Issues of enduring significance specific to Nepal and those that affect all Nepalis. Examples are our vulnerability to earthquakes, flooding in the Terais
kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Earthquake Risk of Schools

Postby kazi » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:18 am

Re-reading your latest post, two thoughts passed my mind:

1. Being able to influence the decisions of executives (government) will be a very big challenge. I think the easier route will be to influence the donors. After all, executives will always try to please the donors. I think we have the *desire*, the government has the *will*, and, the donors have the *means*. Somehow or the other, we want to bring these three players and their assets (desire, will, means) together and do something for earthquake disaster management.
2. *Quality by Design* is a concept that has taken a growing foothold in the various sciences, both theoretical and applied. I am quite positive this is true for your field of expertise also. And I believe this is very important for disaster management, specially at a time when building and construction is booming.

Here is what I like about your initiative:

a) Ideally, disaster management is huge. Therefore, specializing in earthquakes and then to schools is a very smart thing to do.
b) Listing of the things that we, the end users, can contribute towards the initiative. I might have to go deeper into each item.

Recommendations:
(i) Like I mentioned earlier, marketing with free stuff is always a good start. It has multiple benefits.
(ii) Creating and maintaining an online presence is not a bad idea.
(iii) Like we agreed, cost/benefit analysis for a solution is something that is tangible and easy for stakeholders to see. And if I understand correctly, this has been done. I am sure donors will appreciate having the choice of solutions.
(iv) I think we have to treat NGOs and INGOs with different light because the bottomline is the source. With this in consideration, I think different strategies need to be taken to deal with the two.

@Bishnu, please be at peace. Yours is a good cause and if there is pressure, so be it. The world will not care about labor pains as long as the child is healthy and strong.. so to say.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

Bishnu
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:12 am

Re: Earthquake Risk of Schools

Postby Bishnu » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:58 pm

@Kazi, I really appreciate your concern and interest to the subject matter. The discussion, though, turns out as conversation between two with no other aawartaners involved in. I still believe in mainstreaming Earthquake Risk Management by making it everyone's concern. Otherwise we don't get meaningful policy intervention. However I understand, Earthquake safety is a difficult agenda to establish because 1.The problem is not visible unless it manifests 2. It's uncertain in time, location and nature and most importantly 3. The benefit we get from the solutions will never be seen- it avoids happening of disaster which only otherwise will be materialized.

My proposal in the last posting is just an attempt to see whether we can really act beyond discussions and can contribute a little for change. That does not even require resource commitment. Seems the proposal is not that appealing as I don't see expected responses.

I also appreciate your recommendations. They are valuable to professionals, particularly if they want to reach out large community for a greater cause. Many thanks.

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Earthquake Risk of Schools

Postby kazi » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:31 am

Hats off to your initiative, @Bishnu. I might not know you personally, but I have deep respect for you and your singularity of purpose. I wish more people participated too. And if there is anything I might do for your cause, please feel free to count us in. Signing off until next time..
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Earthquake Risk of Schools

Postby kazi » Fri May 14, 2010 8:35 am

Could the 4.2 magnitude earthquake in Western Nepal be an indication of bigger quakes to come?
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

Bishnu
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:12 am

Re: Earthquake Risk of Schools

Postby Bishnu » Fri May 14, 2010 11:55 pm

Not necessarily. Some big earthquakes do have foreshocks. They are, however, only about 4% in the earthquake recording history. The frequency of small earthquakes is much higher than bigger ones. Usually there are several (sometimes in the orders of hundreds) minor earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or less that can still trigger seismographs in and around Nepal every year.

For a given seismicity of particular region, it is better to have several minor earthquakes which may contribute to release the energy and reduces the chances of very large earthquakes. still we can't rely on those considering the fact that magnitude 6.0 earthquake is about 1000 times larger than magnitude 4.0 event in terms of energy. This means magnitude 4.0 earthquakes are very very small compared to moderate / large earthquakes.

Ganesha
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Re: Earthquake Risk of Schools

Postby Ganesha » Mon May 17, 2010 7:23 pm

Thank you Bishnu and Kazi for discussing Earthquake in detail and in the process providing valuable information to aawartners and netizens. Let's say if we were to have ten crore rupees, the average cost of a house in Kathmandu city today, how could use it to best achieve our goal of lessening the risk of earthquakes, before and after is something I would like to discuss.
aawartan.org - nepali forum

Bishnu
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:12 am

Re: Earthquake Risk of Schools

Postby Bishnu » Tue May 18, 2010 6:40 pm

Thank you Ganesha !

I don’t want to present you the technical stuff here but it is still better to know a little bit of it for planning purpose. Don’t worry even if you don’t get completely. Here would be my simple stepwise recommendations for best use of money to get desired safety. I put the major responsible(s) for each step in CAPITAL case.

1.Identify the class of building – whether it is residential, commercial, critical infrastructure like hospital or key social infrastructure like school or cinema theatre which house hundreds of people at a time – BUILDING OWNER

2.Set a performance objective of earthquake safety for large earthquakes. The question would be -does the building need to be at continuous operation(for hospital)or at immediate occupancy level that the service may be halted for some days but can’t wait for long (like school) or it can be at life-safety level (some damage is expected but life should not be threatened - the usual performance objective for residential building) or simply the collapse prevention to save the lives ( residential building made up of sub-standard material like stone or brick)- BUILDING OWNER WITH HELP FROM ENGINEER

3.Get geotechnical engineer(s) to check the soil and site condition and perform cost analysis to find whether it’s economic to choose alternate site or apply some remedial measure like soil densification if the site is poor.- GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEER

4.Prepare alternative building configuration and load resisting systems to meet the preset performance objectives for a given seismic demand. Seismic demand for particular site comes from building code. It also depends on the class of building (residential or school or hospital). Choose the most economic one that satisfies the objective. The configuration and load resistance system could be either frame structure, or concrete wall (shear wall system), or their combination or frame with bracing, frame with dampers etc. It also depends on the functional need and taste of architecture. The simple the building (i.e. regular shape) the easier and less expensive would be design. – ARCITECTURE, ENGINEER AND OWNER

5.For a chosen building system, prepare all detail designs to make the building behavior ductile (a system that does not collapse even after going large shaking). Usually the details are given in the building codes. In Nepalese building code, detail description is given for building upto 3 story building. However, for a larger building the detail design should follow international codes like IBC (American) or European code etc. - ENGINEER

6.Monitor the construction work very closely whether it follows the design and check the material quality and workmanship. This is the most critical step as earthquakes don’t recognize design in papers, they only recognize the actual construction. Get the trained masons for the construction work. – OWNER, ENGINEER, BUILDING CODE OFFICIALS ( MUNICIAPL ENGINEERS)

7.Design all non-structural items (false ceiling, pipes, brick veneer, cladding , parapet walls, chimney, equipment etc and their location so that there is no life threatening hazards. – ENGINEERS, HVAC DESIGNERS, OWNERS.

8.Don’t alter the use of building i.e converting residential building to boarding school), don’t alter the original configuration –adding the extra floor etc. - OWNER

I think this is what, in brief, can be said in generic term for planning purpose.

It is assumed that the ENGINEER is competent in seismic analysis and design. The irony here is that students from engineering college in Nepal and also in India don’t have courses and exposures on seismic analysis and design. We need a major overhaul in engineering education system to incorporate our need it properly. Our engineering curriculum and text books are still based on UK system. We are paying the cost of being influenced by the system of UK which, to their luck, does not have earthquakes.

Does this help?

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Earthquake Risk of Schools

Postby kazi » Wed May 19, 2010 9:37 am

Thank you @Bishnu for the elaborate workflow. What really struck me was the fact that no appropriate curricula is available for aspiring eathquake specialists. That would certainly be an important remedy for academicians.

The more I think on the subject, the more I realize how right you are in your mission of collective awareness & action. The reason I am saying this is because I imagined a situation where, say, optimistically half of the structures are earthquake resistant. In the case of a severe earthquake, half of the structures would be damaged along with infrastructure. Unimaginable pain and suffering due to loss of life and property is imminent. The only realistic way to mitigate widespread pain and suffering is to approach the risks as a whole community.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

Sanu
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:34 am

Re: Earthquake Risk of Schools

Postby Sanu » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:59 am

I have been closely following this topic and would like to take the opportunity to thank Bishnu and Kazi ji for the persuasive view points in the topic of " Risks of earthquake" in Nepal.

I came across this guest column in nepalnews.com recently.Here is the link:
http://www.nepalnews.com/main/index.php/-guestcolumn/6596-role-of-structural-engineers-to-create-earthquake-resistant-buildings-and-infrastructure-in-nepal.html#

Knowing the imminent danger of seismic effects in Nepal I was wondering how well the "...1994 building code" is implemented with scrutiny in Nepal??? and who is responsible for updating these codes???

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Earthquake Risk of Schools

Postby kazi » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:29 am

Finally I got around to reading the article. Thanks for pointing it out to the Aawartaners, @Sanu. I found some points interesting:
1. Setting up a national building code is one of the first things discussed by Haiti experts.
Engineers and Architects in Port-au-Prince discuss that the first step to rebuilding Haiti would be also to set up a national building code.

2. Another point that captured my attention is that the objective of the code is to save lives. That is, the intent is to prevent building collapse so that residents have adequate time to escape.
3. The building code only is not enough. It is important to provide disaster management plans for other critical infrastructure

It is an interesting article calling upon the Nepali diaspora in and around the world to assimilate knowledge. Once again, @Sanu, thanks for sharing.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.


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