Quake resilience: Strict building code helps Taiwan minimise losses - The Tribune India

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Quake resilience

Strict building code helps Taiwan minimise losses

Quake resilience

Photo for representational purpose only. iStock file photo

ON Wednesday, Taiwan was shaken by its most powerful earthquake — measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale — in 25 years, a grim reminder of the seismic risks faced by nations situated along the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’. Yet, amidst the devastation wrought by the tremors, Taiwan’s response stands as a beacon of resilience, underscoring a crucial message: earthquakes don’t kill, buildings do. The country’s location makes it vulnerable to seismic disturbances, and it has invested well in disaster preparedness. In many other countries, buildings fail to withstand tremors because of constructional flaws, exacting a heavy toll on human life.

The island nation’s stringent building code, a robust seismological network, swift emergency responses and extensive public education campaigns on earthquake safety have proven invaluable. The rollout of administrative reforms following the devastating quake of 1999 that claimed over 2,500 lives highlights the country’s commitment to bolstering its resilience against seismic events. Despite the magnitude of the latest tremor, major losses were averted and Taipei emerged relatively unscathed. It resulted in the loss of 10 lives and damage to infrastructure.

Sadly, in contrast, India continues to grapple with the tragic consequences of poor construction practices and ineffective disaster management. The quakes in Latur (1993) and Bhuj (2001) had claimed thousands of lives. India has much to learn from Taiwan regarding the importance of prioritising building resilience over disaster response. Meanwhile, the tragedy underscores the need for united rescue efforts, transcending the geopolitical divide. Taiwan’s strategic semiconductor industry, vital to the global supply chain, faces potential disruptions, amplifying concerns amid its strained relations with China.

#Earthquake #Taiwan

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