The Bigger They Are…

by Alex Nakahara

The recent earthquake in Haiti has focused attention on the area and especially on how shoddy construction and engineering of its buildings played a huge role in the scale of the disaster. Sights like the presidential palace collapsed like an accordion have been splashed all over the media.

Many have called for Haiti to be rebuilt earthquake-proof, and you might as well throw in hurricane and flood-proof as well, since the country sits in such a disaster-prone location. While this will probably be done for municipal buildings and other publicly funded buildings like hospitals, airports, schools and the like, the chances that the slums around Port-au-Prince will be rebuilt to withstand earthquakes are virtually nil. Most of them (most of the buildings in Haiti, probably) weren’t constructed to any building code, or even by an engineer or architect. Once the world’s attention gets distracted by some other crisis, most of the new buildings probably will be just as vulnerable.   Continue reading “The Bigger They Are…”