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By Ahmad alsarraf
Few countries have learned how to anticipate and hedge against hurricanes and earthquakes, except such as Japan and the US. From a technical point of view, the possibility of earthquakes increases in places where there are many permanent steel, glass and concrete structures, and earthquakes rarely occur in the middle of desert areas.
Japanese seismologist Shinorimo Konori criticized, on a Turkish channel, its authorities for the destruction that occurred and the large number of victims as a result of the recent earthquake that occurred in Turkish areas, and held it a large part of the responsibility.
He said that the steadfastness of a number of buildings in the heart of the earthquake zone clearly means that there is great corruption in the contracting sector, as the contractor is the one who builds in Turkey, not the engineer, and even with the presence of the latter, he is often without experience and may have been recently graduated.
The Turkish city of Erzin also survived the earthquake due to the strictness of its building regulations, and its authorities’ rejection of requests for exceptions from influential people, not because it is a city in which preachers and pious people abound, despite all the pressures of the central government on its authorities to be lenient in granting building permits.
The words of the Japanese expert drew my attention to the large number of buildings, especially in our bachelor housing areas, in addition to the hastily built private homes, many of which were built and are being built by contractors of poor quality, with almost non-existent supervision, and which will collapse when the first relatively large earthquake occurs.
We have already seen how the rains ruined new residential areas as a result of poor design and planning, after planning and supervising their implementation was handed over to engineering offices whose owners do not hold a degree, neither in civil engineering nor architecture, but only in “PhD in manipulation,” which is the certificate that was and still is perhaps sufficient to clear any transaction, especially if the owner of the office is one of the Brotherhood’s aides!
Kuwait is not immune from the occurrence of a major earthquake, which will undoubtedly affect residential facilities and buildings and cause severe damage, especially the old ones knowing that we are exposed to frequent earthquakes of medium strength, and their recurrence means, scientifically, that the possibility of a large earthquake in the future is a strong probability.
In the same direction, the Saudi authorities preceded us by imposing the application of seismic design requirements on new housing projects, after the repercussions of the recent earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, and the application will begin on new residential buildings, in order to obtain buildings that are resistant to earthquake risks, and are of more quality, sustainable and safe for the population. It will be one of the tasks of the engineering offices to meet these requirements when preparing construction plans, and before applying for a building permit.
We hope that the Director General of Kuwait Municipality and other authorities will intervene to approve these requirements for us, and to impose seismic design on all new permits.
We also hope that the Kuwait Foundation for Scientific Advancement will assign the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research to conduct random checks on a number of buildings in different regions, to find out their strength and resistance to any upcoming earthquakes.