Sharing lessons from the Kumamoto Earthquake

General Press Releases Thursday June 30, 2016 14:43
Bangkok--30 Jun--Asian Institute of Technology
Japan lies at the intersection of four major tectonic plates, and it is this tectonic setting that makes the archipelago prone to earthquakes of large magnitudes.

Stating this Prof. Fumio Yamazaki of Graduate School of Engineering, Chiba University, remarked that the seismic monitoring of the Kumamoto Earthquake of 2016 had many lessons for everyone. It is evident that inland active faults are now causing infrequent but extremely damaging earthquakes, compared to traditional large magnitude earthquakes that used to occur frequently in offshore plate boundaries.

A combination of field survey of damage and surface faulting, earthquake sequence and source mechanisms, motion records, remote sensing and lidar measurements, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) data has helped scientists in understanding this natural phenomenon. The 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake, which was combination of a foreshock of 6.2 on the 'M' scale on 14 April followed by the main shock of 7.0 on 16 April, causing extensive damage over Kumamoto and Oita prefectures.

Prof. Fumio Yamazaki was speaking at the seminar on "Lessons learnt from the Kumamoto Earthquake," organized by the Structural Engineering field of study of Asian Institute of Technology's School of Engineering and Technology on 24 June 2016.

The seminar also saw three experts from AIT discuss their findings. Prof. Pennung Warnitchai of AIT presented a study of four earthquakes — Nepal, Thailand, Taiwan and Japan. Elaborating on the Chiang Rai earthquake in Thailand, Prof. Pennung stated that it was the largest in the past 50 years. Close to 10,000 buildings were damaged, with 400 suffering severe damage, and 20 of them collapsing due to the earthquake. Stating that Thailand does not have enough 'slow motion records', Prof. Pennung stressed the need to conduct a seismic microzonation study.

Dr. Masahiko Nagai spoke about "Satellite Remote Sensing Analysis of the Kumamoto Earthquake," while Dr. Punchet Thammarak presented his finding on "Building and Infrastructure Damages from Kumamoto Earthquake."

Photo caption: Prof. Pennung Warnitchai (left) with Prof. Fumio Yamazaki .

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