By: Robert Merkel, Associate, Thornton Tomasetti
Last month’s earthquake in central Italy is yet another reminder of the devastating impacts earthquakes can have on communities, causing loss of life, loss of property, and widespread socioeconomic disruption. Over the last two decades, earthquakes have caused almost a million deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses. In light of such figures it seems natural to ask, “Can you earthquake-proof a city?” On a recent episode of BBC World Service’s The Inquiry, four experts were asked that very question. Their thought-provoking comments touch on a wide range of issues faced by researchers, design professionals, and policymakers working to make cities safer against earthquakes.