Are you planning to construct a building on a reclaimed land? Then find out first — how quake-resistant are buildings on reclaimed land? Then, think over again, especially if it is in a quake-prone area.
Fan Sau Cheong, an engineering professor at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University said,
Reclaimed land is made up of sea sand, so buildings will be shaken up more violently during earthquakes as compared to those on non-reclaimed land, which is solid and will not be liquefied by the shake.
He informed that buildings on reclaimed land may shake twice to thrice the ones on natural land during earthquakes! It is because, sand in reclaimed land slides like liquid when saturated with water — a process called liquefaction.
Last week, about 150 buildings in Singapore were rattled by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Hundreds of people in the financial district had to flee their offices, though no buildings were damaged and nobody was hurt.
Is Singapore’s vulnerability to such earth-quake related disasters due to nearly 20 per cent of its land-scarce surface area being reclaimed from the sea? And if it is so, there is a justification of the needed worries on it.
Singapore has scores of tower blocks, hotels, factories and petrochemical plants standing on reclaimed land. And to look forward to, the city-state is planning development of a second financial centre, and that too, all on reclaimed land in the Marina Bay area!