Investigation of construction material quality and workmanship defects of RC buildings collapsed and severely damaged in the 6.8 Mw Sivrice, Elazığ, Turkey earthquake, January 2020
In the Sivrice, Elazığ, Turkey earthquake on January 24, 2020, 41 people lost their lives, more than 1600 people were injured, 672 buildings collapsed, and around 12600 buildings were severely damaged due to poor construction quality. After such devastating earthquakes, damage assessment and forensic investigations are normally carried out quickly for a judicial process, and material qualities are revealed. However, emotional sensitivity of the victims in the earthquake affected zone and disruptions in key lifeline services such as transportation, electricity supply often make these processes difficult. After the Elazığ earthquake, along with the conventional in-situ core sampling method, concrete pieces were collected from columns of collapsed and severely damaged buildings and transported out of the earthquake zone to overcome these adverse conditions. Unlike in the conventional method where the whole sampling process is carried out in the earthquake zone, the core extraction from the transported concrete pieces was carried out outside the earthquake-affected area. The extracted concrete samples were checked for compliance with the prevailing material standards. Moreover, multiple reinforcing bars of various diameters were also extracted and tested to check their compliance with the standards. Besides, the results of examination of the quality of materials and workmanship used in the construction are also discussed, along with the precautions required to minimize fatalities and damage from similar buildings.
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