High-rises, residential houses ‘further affected’

- Post Report, KATHMANDU

May 13, 2015-

Residential houses and high-rises in the city which had sustained minor to serious damages in the Great quake of April 25 and a number of subsequent aftershocks have been further affected by the quake that shook the country on Tuesday.

While residential houses that had suffered serious damages during the last quake have been reduced to rubble by today’s quake, a number of houses and commercial buildings have suffered severe damages and are in a vulnerable state.

The Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), which was assigned to assess the condition of high-rises, residential houses, buildings as well as public infrastructures in the wake of the devastating tremor, had no other option but to halt the ongoing assessment process due to the latest jolt which the government says was ‘unexpected’.

“We will have to re-inspect a number of properties following today’s earthquake,” said Sagar Krishna Joshi, divisional engineer at the DUDBC. “The assessment will start only after possibilities of another huge earthquake and aftershocks are ruled out.”

Ganesh Karmacharya, engineer at the DUDBC, said while buildings marked red can be ignored as it has been already determined unsafe for immediate use, those buildings marked yellow (require repair before use) and green stickers (which are safe for use) needs to be assessed again.

“The buildings marked yellow might have to be given red stickers while those marked green may have to be given yellow stickers,” Karmacharya said, adding that the cracks in the buildings might have certainly become bigger and that there is a need of detailed assessment soon.

Geologist Ranjan Kumar Dahal advised that people should avoid living in houses that have developed cracks.

“Tuesday’s quake and subsequent aftershocks have increased the vulnerability of big and small houses alike,” Dahal said. “People should be very cautious and make a sensible decision after assessing the damage sustained by the houses and buildings where they live.”

Dahal further added that people should be cautious even in the houses which have not sustained much damages in today’s tremblor.

As of Tuesday, the government has completed Rapid Post Disaster Assessment (RPDA) of 26 high-rises, 134 buildings of 78 government offices, including 96 buildings of 20 hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley. According to DUDBC, the assessment has marked two high rise apartments, 14 government offices outside Singha Durbar, five offices within Singha Durbar and five hospitals within the Kathmandu valley as unsafe for immediate use.

Published: 13-05-2015 07:31

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