Geotechnical Engineering Expert On New Zealand Earthquake

Construction TeamThere are critical lessons for the United States on the value of rigorous construction and engineering standards in the aftermath of a recent earthquake that rocked one of New Zealand’s major urban areas, says Arizona State University geotechnical engineering expert Edward Kavazanjian. The Sept. 4 Darfield earthquake in the area of Christchurch, one of the country’s largest cities, was a 7.1-magnitude quake, equal in magnitude to the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year that caused more than 200,000 fatalities.

Though the Darfield quake’s impact was widespread, the result was far less devastating than in Haiti, due in large part to New Zealand’s stringent construction codes and sustainable engineering practices, says Kavazanjian, a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

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