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Earthquake

Architecture

Sisma Calce seismic fabric helps hold buildings together during earthquakes

Changing building codes to ensure that new structures are less vulnerable to earthquakes is all well and good, but what about older buildings? If someone told you that the answer was wallpaper, you’d think they were crazy, but a team from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Karlsruhe, Germany has developed a fabric to reinforce older walls. Marketed as “Sisma Calce,” the low-cost seismic fabric is designed to be plastered on walls to reduce earthquake damage or to at least give survivors a better chance of escape from falling debris.Read More

Earthquake-resistant bed can withstand 65 tons of falling debris

Following the lead of the Earthquake-proof school desk, Wood Luck is an earthquake resistant bed that can withstand up to 65 short tons (59 metric tonnes) of falling debris. Designed by Shinko Industries, the bed has been built to give users some “good luck” protection during an earthquake. And with the ability to withstand 65 tons of tumbling detritus, it may just become a lifesaving piece of furniture during an emergency situation. Read More

Good Thinking

Earthquake-proof school desk provides cover for natural disasters

Anyone who has been through earthquake drills in school knows the standard defense against falling debris is for students to crawl under their desks. Unfortunately, while this might block a few pieces of stray drywall and glass, a wooden desk isn't going to withstand the crushing weight from large chunks of concrete or steel. In fact, people hiding under their desks could very likely become trapped with no way out. That's why two designers have developed an "earthquake-proof" desk that can absorb the impact of up to a ton of weight and even provide emergency routes for rescue crews to reach trapped students. Read More

Architecture

Cardboard church to replace Christchurch cathedral in New Zealand

Early on the morning of September 4, 2010, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand causing widespread damage. This was followed by a 6.3 magnitude quake on February 22, 2011 that was much shallower and devastated the city of Christchurch – NZ's second-largest city - resulting in the loss of 185 lives. Among a considerable number of building collapses was the historic Anglican Cathedral, which sustained sufficient damage that it had to be demolished. Work has now begun on a temporary cathedral, intended to serve the needs of the community until sufficient funds are acquired to build a permanent replacement. Oddly, the architects decided to make the replacement of cardboard!Read More

Good Thinking

Air Danshin creates airlift system to levitate houses during earthquakes

When you live in a country as seismically active as Japan, thinking about earthquakes (and tsunamis) probably occupies a good deal of your time. Inventor Shoichi Sakamoto took it a step further. He decided to do something about it and invented a technology, remarkably simple in concept, to protect homes from the devastating shaking - an airlift system capable of automatically raising and isolating the whole house until the temblor stops.Read More

Science

Vibration "invisibility cloak" could protect buildings from earthquakes

While “cloaking” technology may have once been limited exclusively to the realm of science fiction, regular Gizmag readers will know that it is now finding its way into real life – just within the past few years, scientists have demonstrated various experimental cloaking systems that prevent small objects from being seen, and in one case, from being heard. Such invisibility systems involve the use of metamaterials, which are man-made materials that exhibit optical qualities not found in nature. These are able to effectively bend light around an object, instead of allowing it to strike the object directly. Now, mathematicians from the University of Manchester are proposing technology based on the same principles, that would allow buildings to become “invisible” to earthquakes.Read More

Science

Hurricanes and typhoons may trigger major earthquakes, according to new study

Hurricanes and typhoons could contribute to other natural disasters that occur long after the rain and winds subside. A new study led by University of Miami (UM) scientist Shimon Wdowinski finds a link between earthquakes and tropical storms, and shows that they may have actually initiated some major temblors, including the recent 2010 quakes in Haiti and Taiwan.Read More

Architecture

Istanbul's Disaster Education Centre concept doubles as emergency housing

Portugal's OODA architectural firm has conceptualized a Disaster Education Centre that also doubles as an emergency shelter in the event of a real-life disaster. The center has been designed for the city of Istanbul and would be fully equipped with adequate technology and facilities to respond to a natural emergency. The center focuses on educating the public about disasters, with a special focus on earthquakes and floods. The design of the building reflects this theme, resembling an emergency cross symbol that has fallen onto its side, as if affected by an earthquake. Read More

Good Thinking

Floating tsunami capsule is designed to save lives

New Cosmopower, a small Japanese company, has created a floating capsule to be used in the event of earthquakes or tsunamis. Following the devastating loss of life during the Tohoku earthquake in March this year, the "Noah" capsule was designed to preserve life in the face of another major catastrophe - just like its biblical namesake.Read More

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