SOURCE: Miyamoto International

Miyamoto International

February 24, 2011 14:39 ET

Miyamoto Earthquake Investigation Team Assessing Damage in Christchurch

Damage to Buildings and Infrastructure Estimated to Be in Excess of $12 Billion

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND--(Marketwire - February 24, 2011) - An investigation team headed by Dr. Amir Gilani from Miyamoto International, the global earthquake and structural engineering firm, arrived in Christchurch this week to assess the extent and the causes of the damage caused by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Commenting on his findings so far, Dr. Gilani said, "In addition to the rising death toll and the human suffering, there was extensive damage to downtown buildings and widespread soil liquefaction throughout the region.

"We have visited many downtown areas where our team witnessed the total collapse of the structures. In some sections, more than 20% of the buildings have collapsed," explained Dr. Gilani. "Several office buildings have fared no better, resulting in a complete shutdown of the central business district. This is in contrast to what happened in September 2010 during a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, where there was no loss of life. Some buildings that withstood that quake are no longer standing today," he said. Several recently seismically retrofitted buildings also collapsed, including the Christchurch Cathedral. Clearly, the retrofit criteria or methods failed. Insurance losses are estimated to be $12 billion compared to the $3.8 billion in September's earthquake.

Miyamoto International CEO, Dr. Kit Miyamoto, supports the New Zealand team from his present location in Haiti. He commented, "In Haiti, where Miyamoto teams have been working for the last year to assess the damage and restore and rebuild housing, we have seen the worst of what earthquakes can cause. But the collapse ratio in the downtown area of Christchurch is reaching a similar percentage as in Haiti. We have also learned from our experience in responding to earthquake events around the world about what should be done to prevent this kind of devastation. We hope to lend our expertise to the city of Christchurch to build in a manner that will prevent this loss of human life and extensive economic disruption in the future. As with every earthquake event, there are lessons to be learned from this disaster that can and should be applied to all earthquake-prone areas around the world," Dr. Miyamoto said.

About Miyamoto
Miyamoto International is a global earthquake and structural engineering firm that provides critical services to sustain industries and communities around the world. The firm specializes in designing High-Performance Earthquake Engineering solutions that reduce lifecycle costs and produce a positive net impact on a structure's operation. Miyamoto helps tackle some of the most challenging projects in the world from diverse offices in the Americas, Asia and Europe. The firm's clients include government agencies, private-sector organizations, developers, architects and contractors who desire highly effective and sustainable technical solutions. www.miyamotointernational.com

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