Earth tremor Sitia, 27.08.17

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Re: Earth tremor Sitia, 27.08.17

Postby Carolina » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:59 am

Kilkis wrote:
A pretty common reaction but against advice in Japan. Most people are killed and injured by objects falling off buildings as they exit. All the Japanese engineers I was working with ran to the door but stayed just inside. They claimed that the door frame was the strongest part of the building and so likely to survive a collapse in a worst case scenario. They also said it is where rescuers would start searching. Nobody bothered to say anything to me and the five other UK engineers I was with as they ran out so we just stood in the chamber looking round in awe and wondering what was happening.


Ahh yes, the reason for the Japanese advise is that many live in cities with high rise blocks and falling glass or other objects falling from a height is a killer. It's different in less built up areas, and especially in the countryside - I reckon you are safer outside then... just keep away from electricity poles and wires.

I also read (only quite recently) that the door frame of a house is not the best place to be either ... arthquake/

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Re: Earth tremor Sitia, 27.08.17

Postby Kilkis » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:21 pm

I guess it depends on how the building is constructed. It is worth noting that the article says that "if you’re already outdoors, the safest place to be is—still—away from buildings that have the potential to fall". At no point does it recommend running outside if you are indoors, which is what everybody seems to do. While I agree that a shattered pane of glass falling from 20 stories is going to be pretty unpleasant, think the film "Omen", I also think that a roof tile falling off a two storey building isn't exactly going to improve your day. The article stresses that the biggest risk is being hit by falling objects and I still think that you increase that risk by running outside.

Overall humans are very poor at assessing risk especially in circumstances where there could be an extreme outcome. The idea of being buried in a collapsed building seems so much worse an outcome than being hit by a falling object that we see it as the highest risk. We then take actions to avoid that outcome, which, in reality, exposes us to a bigger, albeit apparently less extreme, risk.


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Re: Earth tremor Sitia, 27.08.17

Postby filippos » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:28 pm

I also noticed in the article that most references to doorways implied internal ones, many of which are single-leaf brick, plasterboard faced stud work (or faced, light aluminium frame), none of which offer much resistance to collapse. On the other hand external doorways tend to have lintels of concrete with rebar or RSJs resting on double-skinned brick or reinforced concrete walls. Maybe the safest place would be under a strong table close to an external doorway.

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