Red Brick Daily

Coming on the heels of the deadly quake in Hualien, residents across Taiwan are again asking, “Is my area safe?”

One news outlet explained that if your building was constructed after Dec. 31, 1999 (the year in which Taiwan witnessed the 9-21 quake that claimed 2000+ lives), the building likely meets standards that include a test of the ground deep beneath the foundation before construction begins, to ensure it isn’t sitting on a fault line or is otherwise an earthquake risk.

But of course, many structures were built before that year and a report from UDN claims that 240 buildings in Kaohsiung City have “structural concerns”. YIKES

And sadly, it seems few are willing to completely foot the bill to get these buildings checked and or reinforced.

Total Taipei reports, “… the [KHH] government faces the difficult task of convincing property owners to undergo detailed assessments and reinforcement work to prevent earthquake damage. A representative from the Kaohsiung Structural Engineers Association said that many homeowners don’t see the value of reinforcing buildings and often question the need for it.”

The city did offer subsidies but even that had little effect.

More from Total Taipei:

” … [KHH] received 3,656 applications for initial assessments and found more than 240 buildings in need of detailed assessments and possible earthquake reinforcement …. however … none of those buildings have undergone a detailed assessment … the city will provide subsidies of up to NT$400,000 for the detailed assessments … [but] detailed assessment could cost about NT$1 million, plus the cost of reinforcement work.”

Maybe we need mandatory assessments?