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Keeping Schools Safe in Earthquakes

image of Keeping Schools Safe in Earthquakes

Earthquake-prone communities need earthquake-resistant schools. In 2002, a primary school in San Giuliano, Italy, collapsed killing 29 children and one teacher. In May 2003, a medium-sized earthquake in the city of Bingöl, Turkey, caused the collapse of three new schools and a dormitory, killing many children as they slept. All too frequently, earthquakes cause the collapse of school buildings and the injury and death of staff and students. Further, when schools are closed because of earthquake damage, education is hampered, community life disrupted, and potential emergency shelters unavailable. Where school attendance is compulsory, communities have an obligation to provide a safe study and work environment.

Why do schools collapse even during moderate earthquakes? Experts agree that many collapse due to avoidable errors in design and construction. Often, the needed technology is not applied and laws and regulations are not sufficiently enforced. Application of existing knowledge can significantly lower the seismic risk of schools and help prevent further injury and death of school occupants during earthquakes. Moreover, this can be accomplished at reasonable cost and within a reasonable period.

Keeping Schools Safe in Earthquakes presents expert knowledge, opinions and experiences, and provides valuable insight into the scope of problems involved in protecting schools and their occupants. Its recommendations are a call to action to all governments in OECD and partner countries to help facilitate their implementation.

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Taking an Initial Step Towards Improving Earthquake Safety in Schools

Ad Hoc Experts' Group Report on Earthquake Safety in Schools

Programme on Educational Building

All too frequently, strong earthquakes strike OECD member countries, causing the collapse of school buildings and the death of innocent children. Although earthquakes are natural and unavoidable events, school buildings need not collapse during earthquakes. The knowledge presently exists to signifi cantly lower the seismic risk of schools and to help prevent further injury and death of school occupants during earthquakes. Experts from 14 countries and five continents representing international organisations, government, academia, business and non-governmental organisations deliberated for ...

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