Albania: Seismologists say large aftershocks unlikely, government should retrofit buildings for safety
By Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Following the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck Albania, there have been a number of aftershocks, some registering as high as 5.4 on the Richter scale. With 40 dead so far, over 650 injured and many still feared to be trapped under the rubble, search and rescue teams are racing to try and save them.
Stephen: Whilst large, felt earthquakes are generally quite rare in individual countries, they can result in a high impact – causing many deaths and injuries, as well as huge economic damage to regions. Therefore, it is important to provide the environment needed for in-depth research into the seismic hazard of an area before that earthquake happens to identify susceptible building types, faults that may rupture with a given magnitude and in a given time. Also, we often say the phrase: “earthquakes don’t kill people. Buildings do”, therefore, it is certainly worth regulating building codes and retrofitting buildings so that they can withstand the shaking in a likely earthquake scenario.
Wendy: The best things governments can do is require and enforce better building codes so that buildings do not collapse during earthquakes.
Remy: Preparation is not only down to the government, but it should be done also at an individual level as well. The government needs to enact and enforce building codes, preparation of the response etc. But people must prepare too: making sure there are no heavy objects on shelves, having a family plan, being sure to know how to react, and what to do in case of a strong earthquake.