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Guide for Assessing Earthquake Related Hazards

Earthquake Related Hazards


Collapsed four-storey apartment building in Marina District, after earthquake of 17 October, 1989.
David L. Ryan/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

Earthquake Hazards

The guide for assessing earthquake-related hazards has an important role on the owner's decision on future design and construction methods. This earthquake hazard guide can advise the owner or representative on factors affecting site selection and how to establish design criteria. This assessment should be complemented by a geotechnical engineer's data related to the hazards faced when building on earthquake prone areas.

This earthquake assessment guide can be carried out at initial stages and must evaluate factors affecting site selection: zone restrictions, geology, seismic activity hazard, soil conditions and inundation hazards from possible tsunamis or levees failure. This information must be able to provide guidance on the earthquake hazards and assist on areas where comprehensive studies must be completed.

Key Factor on Earthquake Hazards

A geotechnical engineer is a must when preparing this assessment and many other professionals should also participate in the evaluation process. The principal hazards that this guide will focus are:

  1. Ground Shaking Earthquake Hazard

  2. Site and Infrastructure Earthquake resistance

  3. Seismic Hazards affecting the proposed construction

Earthquake Hazard Assessment Guide

The earthquake hazard guide must consider the following:

  • Location of the project

  • Location of active seismic faults

  • Type of soil underneath the proposed building

  • Geology formation and profile of soil strata

  • Is the soil susceptible to liquefaction?

  • Slopes stabilization measures

  • Structural stability of access after an earthquake

  • Location of primary connection points of related infrastructure

  • Hazardous material safety

  • Environmental consideration from neighboring buildings

  • Distance and right of ways from adjacent constructions enough to prevent possible collapse impacts?

  • Stability of neighboring facilities

  • Zoning requirements

  • Flood zone levels

  • Surface runoff conditions and water management systems

  • Distance from highly developed areas?

All these factors are among the most critical when performing an initial evaluation and assessment of earthquake related problems. This information should be distributed to all related professionals, and this can be included in the Integrated project delivery method.

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