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The common saying “Earthquakes don’t kill, buildings do” has been proven true every time a high intensity earthquake strikes.
Earthquakes always leave a trail of devastation, bringing down villages that have meagre infrastructure and weak buildings to rubbles. These have compelled experts to devise safety measures which try to protect buildings against calamities such as this.
The Dubai authorities have introduced a system that will help determine the impact of earthquakes on and implement emergency plans for high-rises all over the city.
As a start, they recently installed the structural health monitoring system at Burj Khalifa and Dubai World Trade Centre’s Shaikh Rashid Tower. Sensors installed in the system will set out alarms and send instant e-mail reports to officials, allowing them to decide on an evacuation plan. The system will also curtail unnecessary evacuations during smaller tremors. When the system is proven effective and helpful, other high-rises will be installed the same.
It can be recalled that Dubai revised its earthquake code following the Iran quake in 2013. It specifies the minimum standards for construction, taking into consideration safety and public welfare. Certain codes within this also intend to ensure that structures are capable of withstanding seismic forces.
In order to build safer and stronger structures in the country, the new regulations have divided buildings into two categories: Seismic Zone 2A and Seismic Zone 2B. The former focuses on buildings between five and ten floors that should be capable of enduring tremors of up to 5.5 on the Richter scale, while the latter covers buildings having more than 10 floors that must be able to bear shocks of up to 5.9 magnitude.
• Dubai launched a tremor system aimed to protect high-rises
• The system was first implemented at Burj Khalifa and DWTC
• Dubai revised its earthquake code in 2013 after the Iran quake
Source: Shabnam Mondal, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer