Common sense analysis of this, that and the other

Earthquakes don’t kill people

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Buildings do.

Each time a major quake hits a population centre in a developing nation, whether it be Iran, Pakistan, China or other, the death toll is horrific. As is the way people die. Crushed and trapped beneath tons of concrete and masonry only to die slowly, in agony, and often alone. Meanwhile, out in the open, people and animals survive. As do those in (shanti) huts or tents.

So why do the authorities even consider slabs of concrete in the construction of buildings in well known earthquake zones?

At this time thousands of people are probably still alive, trapped, but with no hope of timely rescue. The corruption and lack of management of these countries makes their governments complicit in what is at the very least manslaughter.

Murder by concrete?
(© 2010 LA Times)

Fight back club: Architects and the authorities should collaborate on designing buildings to be constructed from tough readily available but flexible sustainable materials. How about wood – coated in non toxic flame retardant?

UPDATE: President Obama just announced in conjunction with Presidents Bush and Clinton. Good stuff, but what is going to happen long term? Study the concept of the ‘Prime Directive’ in Star Trek to comprehend just how complicated things get when an ‘advanced’ civilisation tries to interfere in the destiny of what is perceived to be a less advanced civilisation. What is one to do? Is empathy what triggers colonialism, or did colonialism lead to the Western designed concrete buildings that may well have killed over 50,000 people? Do we just let countries sort their problems out until they reach our standard of living or ‘interfere’? Etc.


Written by Oflife

January 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm

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