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Make buildings tsunami friendly, say engineers


NEW BUILDINGS in tsunami risk areas should incorporate 'flow through' ground floors and structural frames aligned at an angle to the coast, say US and British engineers .

Drainage control for the ebbing waters is also vital to minimise scour damage, the ICE and the American Society of Civil Engineers said this week.

These were the conclusions of a joint report on the South Asia tsunami earlier this year.

The report says that most of the damage and casualties were caused by the second and subsequent waves, which contained debris from the first wave.

But some infrastructure stood up well to the tsunami, says the report.

It commends the 'excellent performance of high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe', which often continued to function even when wave erosion left it unsupported.

And coastal steel water towers generally stayed standing.

But scour damaged many coastal highway bridges, and the ingress of salt water ruined activated sludge sewage treatment plants.

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