The 2016 Meinong Taiwan earthquake
Learning from earthquakes report
The Mw 6.4 Meinong earthquake occurred on 6 February 2016 in the southern region of Taiwan. The earthquake caused significant damage in and around Tainan city, with a number of collapsed and severely damaged buildings and 117 deaths. A five-member Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) team visited Taiwan approximately one month after the earthquake, with particular focus on learning from changes to design practice and seismic mitigation efforts following the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake in Taiwan. Land damage was generally modest with liquefaction and slope-failures observed in a limited number of locations. Some notable instances of liquefaction-related foundation settlement and tilting occurred in areas associated with historical filling. Following the earthquake, the Taiwanese government publically released liquefaction hazard maps that will have a significant impact on public awareness and land values. The observed structural damage was characteristic of non-ductile and poorly configured buildings. The collapsed buildings all contained irregularities and soft-storeys. The majority of older mixed-use buildings performed adequately, but severe column failures were observed in several taller apartment buildings constructed in the 1990s. The performance of schools and district offices provided valuable insight into the successful implementation of seismic assessment and strengthening programmes. A comparison of existing and strengthened buildings showed that efficient retrofit solutions can reduce the risk posed by critical structural weaknesses and improve the safety and resilience of these buildings. A similar strategy could be implemented for common critical structural weaknesses in New Zealand buildings.
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