Apartment Block, Tung Shih

(See Close Up)

The structural frame of this apartment block was constructed from reinforced concrete. The ground floor storey of the building collapsed because the columns at that level failed.

You can see that there was neither bracing between the columns, nor any walls as in the storeys above. If there had been, they would have helped resist the sideways sway caused by the earthquake.

This type of failure is called a soft-storey failure. The earthquake caused many failures of this type.

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 Shaken Societies
               Apartment Block
from Bristol University