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Architects appeal not to sensationalize quakes

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Jan 9 - The Association of Architects, Assam has warned all concerned not to sensationalize the reports on earthquakes. Creating panic among the people regarding earthquakes is a crime and everyone should refrain from doing it, said the Association president, Tikendrajit Saikia, in a statement here on Friday.

He said that after the January 4, 2016 earthquake, the issue of earthquake is being sensationalized by some quarters. No doubt, the January 4 earthquake was a big one. But the buildings in Assam withstood the jolts of the quake and its aftershock. It is a fact that there have been some cracks in the walls of some buildings, but the walls are the non-structural members of a building.

Structural members like the beams, columns and slabs of all the buildings remained intact under the impact of the quake and its aftershock. These things should be kept in mind while speaking about the impacts of the earthquakes on the buildings, so that undue panic is not created among the common people about the safety of their structures, Saikia said.

However, the case of the buildings, which are not designed and built as per the provisions of the Earthquake Code and the seismic zone guidelines, is quite different from that of the buildings which are built adhering to the norms laid down by the above Code and guidelines.

There is a need to build an atmosphere in the State�s society to congratulate the engineers, architects and builders, who have contributed to the construction of the safe structures for the good job they have done in this highly earthquake- prone State, instead of drumming on the ears of the people constantly the baseless assertion that all high-rise buildings of the State are going to collapse like a house of cards in the event of a major earthquake, Saikia said.

He claimed that the buildings affected by the January 4 earthquake in Manipur were the non-engineered buildings. Buildings built there in consultation with architects and structural engineers remained intact. One should sincerely look into this aspect.

He also pleaded for reservation of open spaces in the urban areas of the State to meet the post-earthquake scenario. The state doesn�t have open spaces to accommodate the victims in urban areas which is a grave matter, he said and appealed to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority to look into this matter at the earliest.

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