NED recreates earthquake to test stronger struc

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  1. W.11
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    KARACHI:
    The intense El Centro earthquake that shook the Imperial Valley in Southern California on May 18, 1940, was recreated at the NED University of Engineering and Technology on Friday.
    All eyes, as well as cellphone cameras, were fixated at a structure similar to stone masonry buildings that exist in large numbers in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The structure was placed at the Shake Table testing facility available at the university’s civil engineering department to check the stability of buildings in this part of the world.


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    “The facility is used to simulate real-time earthquake ground motion to record the dynamic response of a given structure placed on the table,” explained Dr Sarosh Hashmat Lodhi, the university’s civil engineering dean. With his safety helmet firmly in place, Dr Lodhi became busy again as he issued instructions on a walkie-talkie to his team that was present in the control room. They were about to recreate similar ground motions as the earthquake in California.

    “The El Centro was a typical moderate-sized destructive event and its ground acceleration record is available to be replicated through the control software at a computer system,” he told The Express Tribune, adding that the records are connected to the Shake Table.
    The test project, which is being carried out in collaboration with Aga Khan Development Network, will help experts gain a better understanding of earthquake resistance and collapse mechanisms of a large number of similar buildings that exist in the Gilgit-Baltistan province, which is located on a highly seismic belt. “We will be able to spot the weaknesses in traditional construction methods and suggest low-cost improvements for a majority of underprivileged residents to strengthen these buildings against future earthquakes” said Dr Lodhi.

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    Given the abundant availability of stones and the low construction cost, most residents use stone masonry in cement or mud mortar with earthen flooring to build single and double-storey residential buildings, he pointed out. “While the region is seismically very active due to its position near the Indian and Asiatic tectonic plates, the uniqueness of this type of construction brings more challenges in the prediction and understanding of its seismic behaviour.”

    The organiser transported craftsmen from Hunza Valley along with all the material to make sure the model-structure is as similar as possible to the actual buildings in Hunza. The model was designed to be one-third the scale of the actual stone-masonry houses.
    The experiment

    The model structure placed on the Shake Table sustained the peak ground acceleration of the El Centro earthquake when the experiment began. It was not until the acceleration was raised to around 150 per cent of the recorded data that the entire structure collapsed.
    The structure’s rear part, which is colloquially referred to as ‘chikish’ and designated to store the edibles, took the major impact and turned into debris. While the internal configuration of columns in the traditional construction method helped survive the front part of the building from collapsing completely.

    “We will undertake another experiment in the next two months after carrying out strengthening measures in the structure, based on this experiment,” said Dr Lodhi. “Subsequently, the AKDN will be able to implement the findings of these experiments in the region.”
    ‘Opportunity of a lifetime’

    An NED engineering student, who witnessed the collapse, was in awe. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime to witness such an experiment,” he said. For now, the experiment and its findings have been restricted to the Gilgit-Baltistan region but Dr Lodhi hoped to carry on the success of this experiment across the nation in the future.

    “We hope to establish a technology transfer mechanism to bridge the gap between research and development to improve predominant traditional habitats,” said Prof. Muhammad Masood Rafi, a co-investigator on the project with Dr Lodhi.


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  2. Thorough Pro
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    We need to learn from Japanese, they are the champions in this field.







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  3. W.11
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    a city of 25 million people, Karachi has no quake proof urban planning

    no planning against tsunamis too

    we should better start preparing for this

    all cities and towns of Balochistan esp have this, Balochistan is the most quake prone area of Pakistan
  4. A.Rafay
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    A.Rafay RESEARCH & DEV

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    Wooden houses are much safer than concrete block houses.
  5. W.11
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    Pakistan doesnt have too much wood
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  6. JAT BALWAN
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    err... in this part of world we dont have that afficiant fire brigade also...

    & we have to say bye bye to jungles also.... bad idea...
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  7. A.Rafay
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    A.Rafay RESEARCH & DEV

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    This same experiment was conducted by Mythbusters, they recreated this same earthquake of California, its an interesting earthquake special episode you should watch, and see the results!
  8. Black Eagle 90
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    Black Eagle 90 BANNED

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    NED should try to double the Seats for the students in every department and also open up evening classes from 4:00p.m to 10:00p.m and make it only for Male Candidates in the evening program. This will really help the poor to get a chance to study in a world renowned University and can easily help Karachi as well as Pakistan to grow stronger.
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  9. Black Eagle 90
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    @Secur I would say that in the morning shift they should have 500 seats in every department and in evening too; just evening program will not accommodate any Female student in it.

    Similarly University of Karachi, DOW, SMC and KMDC should look in to it.

    Medical Universities can also make a plan like Morning for Females and Evening for Males.
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  10. Thorough Pro
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    Agreed, but high rise concrete buildings can also be made safe if built with earth quake safety in mind, but unfortunately neither the builders bothers as they want to make the most money with least investment and worse our building control authority is a group of incompetent and corrupt individuals with no foresight and no concern for citizens safety.