Local January 12, 2012 | 6:17 am

Strong quake would collapse most towers, top engineer says

Santo Domingo.- Most of the towers and other constructions in the capital and other cities wouldn’t withstand a strong earthquake, because they were built without regard for the seismic resistant code in effect, which the Public Works Ministry must comply with.

The affirmation is by Dominican Engineers, Architects and Surveyors Guild (CODIA) president Domingo Tavera, in an interview for newspaper Hoy, in the cathedral Primada de America.

He said however that the towers currently being built in Santo Domingo do abide by the anti-earthquake code. “It’s necessary to adapt the majority of the other towers to the new anti-earthquake code.”

Tavera said many towers have “pathologies which in other countries have made them collapse from earthquakes of a certain magnitude, like the so-called smooth floors, which is when the first level such as parking lot is used based only on columns. “

Among other “pathologies” the expert cited the short columns and asymmetric buildings, which would be affected by a magnitude 7 quake or higher. “Those pathologies have collapsed in other countries such as in Chile, Turkey and Mexico.”

The Codia president added that the implementation of the new anti-earthquake code increases the cost of construction of towers and other high buildings. ”The new anti-earthquake code is being applied. It’s up to the Public Works Ministry and the city councils to guard for its compliance.”

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