SOURCE: Miyamoto International

Miyamoto International

May 31, 2012 19:13 ET

Second Wave of Earthquakes Disrupts Industry and Agriculture in Northern Italy

EMILIA-ROMAGNA, ITALY and SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - May 31, 2012) - A second earthquake struck northern Italy as Miyamoto Milan engineers were performing reconnaissance on the first event. The second earthquake hit on May 29 at 9:00 a.m. local time, while the Miyamoto team was in the second phase of their investigation of the original earthquake. They were examining the impact to businesses; city infrastructure; and water, power and telephone lines in Emilia-Romagna.

In addition to tragic life loss, the earthquakes are taking a toll on businesses. Perhaps one of the most notable effects so far is the loss of approximately 400,000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano (10 percent of total Italian production) caused by the collapse of warehouse racks. This loss translates to more than EUR 100 million euro. Estimated damage to the agricultural sector alone is EUR 200 million euro. In the face of Italy's current economic condition, these earthquakes are one more challenge to recovery.

The affected area had not been considered "earthquake prone," and local structures were unprepared to withstand this kind of hazard. The Miyamoto team in Emilia-Romagna will continue their investigations today and Friday. Their preliminary findings include failures of industrial, precast concrete buildings with a lack of seismic restraints on roof beams. Even in areas thought of as high risk for earthquakes, such as California, most buildings are still being constructed without consideration for business interruption. Constructing a building to be operational after an earthquake may add only 1 to 5 percent to initial construction costs, so it is critical to start implementing high-performance earthquake measures to build sustainable cities.

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