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Background

For the last two years the geologist and scientist from all over the world have been predicting and publishing study reports about the anticipated shifting of the tectonic plates along the Himalayan belt. The accumulated stresses in the fault lines have gone beyond the point of rupture; the two recent earthquakes in Nepal, one in Sikkim and one in Manipur are a result of the rupture on the same fault line. All of these earthquakes have been towards the eastern portion of the fault line, and hence the chances of a counter balancing quake hitting on the western side have greatly increased. North India and Delhi-NCR lie in the direct vicinity of this danger zone. This has prompted the Ministry of Home Affairs to issue a warning through a National News Media on January 6 that North India could shortly witness multiple quakes of magnitude 8.2 or higher. What the Government warning does not address are the steps/action that the common citizen need to adhere to.

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Last few years has seen an increased number of conferences and workshops on earthquake risk mitigation and this has resulted in valued interaction amongst members of the scientific/ engineering community specializing in earthquake related issues. Most of these formal gatherings have aimed at better understanding of earthquake effects on the built environment and the mitigation techniques that need to be adopted.

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India’s growing economic might is making all nations look at it with a sense of envy. This new found economic prosperity has also left our country more vulnerable and susceptible to natural calamities. It is imperative that we start following the global best practices and stop living in a sense of denial. Two nations have learnt their lessons the hard way, US and Japan. The colossal damage caused by the quakes of Northridge in 1994 and Kobe in 1995 forced the Governments to spend millions on research. The research helped in better understanding of how structures perform in these devastating scenarios and this led to classification of buildings as per their performance. Now there exist internationally accepted documents issued by the two Governments.

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INTRODUCTION


Damper is an element which can be added to a system to provide forces which are resistive to motion, thus providing a means of energy dissipation. Assuming that this working definition will suffice for general use, the next area of interest is to generally describe the functional output of a damper. The concept of added-on dampers within a structure assumes that some of the energy input to the structure from a transient i.e. earthquake, hurricane etc. will be absorbed, not by the structure itself, but rather by supplemental damping elements. An idealized supplemental damper would be of a form such that the force being produced by the damper is of such a magnitude and occurs at such a time that the damper forces do not increase overall stress in the structure. Properly implemented, an ideal damper should be able to simultaneously reduce both stress and deflection in the structure. Typically, addition of 20-25% added fluid damping to a building structure increased its earthquake resistance by a factor of 3 to 4, compared to that of the same structure without Fluid Viscous Dampers. Most importantly, the performance improvement is obtained without increasing the stress or deflection in the structure. This has caused much of the interest in fluid dampers for structural engineering use.

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India's growing economic might is making many countries look at it with a sense of envy. This newfound economic prosperity has also left India more vulnerable and susceptible to natural calamities. It is imperative that we start following the global best practices and stop living in a sense of denial.

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An earthquake is the most extreme condition that any building may be required to survive during its lifetime. To survive the natures might safely and surely also poses the greatest challenge to the architects and structural engineers. However the modern day computational power and the technological advances in the earthquake protection industry has made the solution once considered un-surmountable a reality. There are numerous companies specializing only in Earthquake Protection.

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The two great quakes in Sumatra followed by one in Pakistan have once again put the challenge of effectively designing structures in front of the engineering community. It has also most certainly instilled a sense of fear and caution amongst the common masses and reminded the law makers of their duty to continuously update and upgrade the provisions of the building codes.

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Many would consider “Earthquake Resistant” and “Earthquake Proof” to mean the same, however there exists a vast difference as for the level of protection offered.

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Taylor Devices, Inc., incorporated in 1955 is the world leader in providing Earthquake Protection Devices for buildings and bridges. The technology patented by Taylor Devices was at the start only used by the US defense services and the aerospace missions of NASA. In approximately fifteen years of active earthquake related applications Taylor Devices has emerged as a clear leader with over 200 projects to its credit. Taylor Devices has its operations in nearly all seismically active regions of the world; it has achieved huge success in countries like Japan, Taiwan and China and is now eyeing the emerging markets of India. India’s success story of economic growth and the projections for the immediate future, coupled with the heightened seismic activity in the region over the past few years has led Taylor Devices for launching operations in India.

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Taylor Devices Inc, the world leaders in seismic protection technology have their operations in India through their representative company Taylor Devices India Pvt. Ltd. Taylor Devices manufacture Seismic Dampers which are installed on buildings and bridges for earthquake safety. The patented technology has been developed by Taylor Devices after decades of research and testing. Initially the technology was used only for aerospace and military applications however sine the mid nineties has found its way in civilian applications.

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1. Introduction

A major earthquake is the most extreme condition that a building may be required to survive during its lifetime. Incase buildings are unable to survive this natures might then the price to be paid can be colossal in terms of loss to lives and property. To survive this nature’s fury safely and surely also poses the greatest challenge to the architects and structural engineers. However the modern day computational power and the technological advances in the field of seismic protection have made the solution once considered un-surmountable a reality. Considerable testing both in the field and the laboratory coupled with quality research work has helped increase our understanding of how buildings behave and respond during earthquakes and other intense motions. This has led to newer approaches and methodologies towards designing safer structures.

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A lot has been said and written about the realty sector and the good and bad practices being followed from time to time. However the Nepal earthquake has brought to the fore an important but long neglected issue, so serious that it can actually sound the death knell of many a company.

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For the last two years the geologist and scientist from all over the world have been predicting and publishing study reports about the anticipated shifting of the tectonic plates along the Himalayan belt.

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Amongst heated debates being held on virtually all media channels between various political outfits trying to score brownie points over their rivalsí parties, the death toll in the unfortunate Kolkata bridge collapse has reached 27.

Quake Disaster Waiting to Happen

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Natures might and what it can do in a few seconds to civilizations and societies established for decades and centuries was witnessed last week when a spate of high magnitude and damaging earthquakes shook Japan, Ecuador and Myanmar. Images of death and destruction have flooded the social media.

About us

 
Dhiraj Ahuja, Co-founder & Editor, DisasterTimes.com

 

 
Munish Ahuja, Co-founder & CTO, DisasterTimes.com

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