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Not Just Four Walls And A Roof - Samudra Magazine

February 28, 2005, 6:30:00 PM

The 9.3 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that streamed along the Indian Ocean on the 26th of December, 2004, had the whole of the east coast of India trembling. Houses and settlements along the coast-line crumbled and shattered, collapsing down the wet coast in pieces.

Benny Kuriakose sheds some thoughts on the reconstruction and redesigning of houses and settlements in the wake of the unpredicted natural disaster. "Disaster relief architecture and strategy" and "house reconstruction schemes" are some of the topics covered in this article.

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Our knowledge of the destructive nature and force of tsunamis is limited and is still being developed. Even standards for earthquake-resistant design are being constantly revised to incorporate new developments in the field. Tsunami loads are far too great, and it is both costly and impractical to design normal structures that are resistant to all tsunamis.

It's pointless to make new houses extra safe if they can't withstand all tsunamis. The strategy to adopt is to ensure that the structures do not collapse all of a sudden and that the occupants are able to run to a place of safety.