Pull down exercise to test vulnerability of buildings to earthquakes

09 Nov 2009

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Most of the fatalities in past earthquakes have occurred due to the collapse of buildings constructed using brick masonry that are considered as ‘Non-Engineered Construction’.

Knowing the seismic risk of such widely available masonry buildings in the region and to identify possible structural mitigation measures, the UNDP Regional Earthquake Risk Reduction Programme (ERRP) supported by the Asian Disaster Reduction Center, Japan, conducted a full scale pull- down test of an existing non-reinforced masonry building in Nepal as part of its technical assistance and knowledge sharing initiatives.

The purpose of the test is to investigate and compare seismic resilience of retrofitted and non-retrofitted buildings . The test provides further opportunity to review and analyze retrofitting methods for masonry building which are the most common types of buildings in Nepal.

It is expected that the test will enhance the knowledge and technical capacity of the ERRP project teams and national stakeholders on `retrofitting techniques’ with a view of nationwide dissemination and application.

The technical experts are working on the results. The detail analysis of this test will be presented in the ERRP regional workshop to be held in Bangladesh in December 2009.

UNDP has been implementing ERRP Regional programme in five South Asian Countries (Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan) with funding support from the Government of Japan.

Nepal is ranked 11th in the world in terms of vulnerability to earthquakes and 30th with respect to floods, according to a 2004 study undertaken by UNDP/Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery.