Title: The Philippines Earthquake of July 1990--Lessons for us all from the Destruction and Reconstruction
Author(s): D. C. Hopkins
Publication: Symposium Paper
Appears on pages(s): 465-486
Keywords: confined concrete; damage; earthquake-resistant structures; earthquakes; education; quality control; reinforced concrete; standards; structural design; General
The M7.8 earthquake which hit the Philippines in July 1990 caused extensive and varied damage to a wide range of structures, most of which were of reinforced concrete. Because U. S. codes are adopted in the Philippines, the event provides a unique opportunity for earthquake engineers worldwide to review their approaches to seismic design. This paper results from the author's involvement in a visit immediately after the event and his subsequent role, in 1991 and 1992, advising the Philippine government on reconstruction of damaged public buildings and infrastructure. Valuable insights into the real issues were gained through contact local consultants, government engineers, and government agencies, such as the Departments of Health and Education. The government's Earthquake Reconstruction Project is outlined and the effects of the earthquake briefly described as an introduction to the main issues: structural concepts, ductile detailing, construction practice and supervision, influence of "nonstructural" elements, and the value of site investigations. Examples are given to illustrate these issues in the Philippine context. The author concludes that proper attention to the basics is sufficient to significantly reduce earthquake risk, not only in the Philippines, but in many developing and other countries. In this International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, this has special relevance.