Nationwide seismic hazard assessments

  • Date: 2018-03-20

Taiwan is located in an area of complex geology, where the interaction of multiple tectonic plates causes frequent earthquakes. Over the last century, the island has experienced more than 10 catastrophic earthquakes, in which much of the death and destruction has resulted from collapsing buildings. To minimize this risk, the government announced a program on February 26 to conduct seismic hazard assessments of buildings throughout the nation, augmented by measures to assist with seismic reinforcement and retrofit work where necessary. The program, with a four-year budget of NT$6 billion (US$205.7 million), lays out five primary strategies to tackle the issue and provide peace of mind to the people of Taiwan.



Five primary strategies

Rapid screening to identify high-risk buildings: The central government will provide funding to local jurisdictions to perform rapid screening of steel-reinforced concrete structures above a certain number of stories whose construction licenses were issued prior to December 31, 1999.
Compulsory seismic hazard assessments: All privately owned public-use buildings, as well as all buildings identified as high-risk through rapid screening, will be required to undergo seismic hazard assessments.
Seismic reinforcement and rebuilding: Following seismic hazard assessment, structures determined to be at risk should be reinforced or rebuilt in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
Staged reinforcement: Partial reinforcement will first be carried out while plans and arrangements for reinforcement or rebuilding work are made.
Financial assistance: Subsidies will be provided to conduct seismic hazard assessments. Where rebuilding is required, the government will offer loan guarantees. Interest subsidies are also being considered for building owners who are less able to bear the cost of construction.