Learning from Disaster

by Walter M. Hays, Sr. Program Mgr.; Tech./Int. Activities Div., ASCE,
Amar A. Chakar, Transp. Mgr.; Tech./Int. Activities Div., ASCE,
Craig Hunt, Assoc. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, Reston, VA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 12, Pg. 28-35

Document Type: Feature article


After each earthquake, civil engineers learn more about what can be done to minimize the damage to infrastructure from seismic events. The recent large earthquakes that struck Izmit, Turkey, and Chi-Chi, Taiwan, killed thousands of people and significantly damaged or destroyed buildings, roads, railways, water resources, and other lifeline systems. Engineers and geologists are probing, measuring, and analyzing the damaged areas, searching for answers to why so much damage occurred and how it can be prevented in the future. What they have discovered so far could impact the standards and practice of design, construction , and inspection worldwide.

Subject Headings: Disasters and hazards

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