Yangon project tests quake resistance of city high-rises

A project to assess the ability of Yangon’s buildings to withstand earthquakes will begin with Tarmwe township, the region’s Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said at the launch of the project at a local hotel.

Tarmwe is densely populated and has many high-rise buildings, so they should be strengthened to be able to resist earthquakes, he said.

“There are a lot of questions about buildings that were built around 1988. We have to be prepared to reinforce these buildings,” he said.

This work will require a lot of funds and a low-interest loan, as well as international help, U Phyo Min Thein said.

There are many brick buildings that should be made stronger to withstand quakes, said U Win Shwe of the regional Department of Disaster Management.

A 5.8 magnitude quake hit Taikkyi township in Yangon in 2017, resulting in some damage to structures, but as the population was not dense there, the damage was not significant.

“If a 5.8 hit Yangon, all the brick structures would fall. Tall brick buildings are very dangerous, so they must be identified and rebuilt,” he said.

Yangon lies on the Sagaing fault, and four townships in western Yangon are especially at risk, U Phyo Min Thein said.

A strong quake on the fault happened 50 years ago, so one can hit again at any time, experts have said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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