Natural Evolution. Natural Disasters.
The recent events in Japan and around the world are a reminder that major natural disasters are part of earth's continuous evolution. Earthquakes in particular are difficult to predict and have the dangerous element of surprise, giving little or no warning. In addition, earthquakes are triggers of other natural disasters including tsunamis and volcanoes.
In 1800, there was just one city with more than a million people - Beijing. Now there are 381 urban areas with at least 1 million inhabitants.
Urbanization crossed a threshold in 2009 when, for the first time, more people lived in city settings than rural ones.
In the next half-century, the planet will add about 5 billion people and build about 1 billion housing units.
About 403 million people live in cities that face significant seismic hazard.
There are 25 cities similar to Port-au-Prince that will shake, on average, almost every 250 years. That equals to an event occurring every 10 years.
Risk Reduction. Public Awareness.
Urbanization Trends. Future Impact.
Buildings can act as weapons of mass destruction in densely populated cities, where buildings are routinely constructed on the cheap, using faulty designs and construction methods. Properly designed, engineered and constructed buildings act as the first line of defense during an earthquake and can minimize the socio-economic impact left behind.
As a structural engineering firm committed to increasing awareness of earthquake preparedness (see our previous e-blast on earthquake preparedness) and building safety, we created the following video to remind the public of the importance of Structural Engineering and how it could ultimately save lives.
The First Line of Defense
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