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Re: Earthquake in Colombia.

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The philosophy behind the Colombian seismic code is pure USA : it
evolved from ATC-3 , UBC , ACI-318 , and AISC. This code was developed
by some very talented engineers , members of the Asociación Colombiana
de Ingeniería Sísmica. The code is periodically upgraded to reflect new
developments in this area, or to enforce stricter restrictions that
could not be imposed when the code appeared (1984). Before the code , we
used ACI-318 and SEAOC recommendations , but this was not mandatory , so
there is a very wide and recent gap on what to expect from buildings.
The greatest problem you will find in collapsed buildings will not be
the quantities of reinforcement , but how the reinforcement is placed .
You will be amazed.
The code provisions are supposed to be applied in ordinary construction
, but there is a lack of people qualified to evaluate and inspect.Some
towns do not even have an office in charge of this , and you are able to
build whatever you want.
The predominant system here is reinforced concrete with moment resistant
frames. The newer buildings use the combined system (shearwalls - moment
resistant frame) .For newer two or one story dwellings it is brick
masonry with confining columns , and for older construction it is brick
, or bamboo with earth 

The predominant failures in buidings : beam-column joint deterioration ,
brought by inadequacy of reinforcement . In one story dwellings , there
are not enough masonry panels to resist lateral load , so they suffer
from absolute instability due to quicq failure of the wall panels , wich
usually support heavy roof loads and untreated wood structures.

Rodrigo Lema wrote:
>     It would be interesting if there are any Colombian engineers in
> this list (I think there are) to comment on the EQ.  For instance, I'm
> interested in the following items:
> a) What's the philosophy behind the Colombian seismic design codes?
> b) Are they applied in everyday construction?
> c) Predominant structural systems & materials.
> d) More common types of failures.
>     Also I think it would be great if these colleagues could send some
> pictures to post in the seaint wwwsite.
>     TIA.
> Rodrigo Lema, Mendoza, Argentina (We still waitin' for our big one)