Earthquake belt in Nepal’s Kathmandu exposes building dangers
(WNN/IRIN) Kathmandu, NEPAL, ASIA PACIFIC: A large-scale road-widening project across Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu, one of the most seismically active cities in the world, has placed hundreds more buildings at risk of collapse in the event of an earthquake, experts warn.
“Many buildings have been partially demolished to make room for the roads. Now they are twice as likely to collapse during an earthquake,” Dilip Kumar Jha, vice-president of the Nepal Engineers’ Association, told WNN – Women News Network news partner IRIN. “As engineers, we’re very concerned about this.”
International disaster experts agree. “It’s evident if you bulldoze half of a building it won’t be as safe as before,” said Moira Reddick, coordinator of the Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium (NRRC) .
According to the National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET), 60 percent of all residential buildings in the Nepalese capital are already at risk of collapse due to faulty construction.
Experts have long expressed concern over current building practices in Kathmandu; with many predicting a major earthquake in the near future. Nepal has had nine major earthquakes roughly every 75 years since 1255 AD. The last one in 1934, flattened Kathmandu, killing 8,000 and destroying 20 percent of the city’s buildings.
“This is very dangerous. In some cases the frontal frames of these buildings have been removed,” said Amod Dixit, NSET’s executive director.
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