Perhaps the earthquake is the most fearful natural phenomenon in one’s life. It is more so, because it is unpredictable and arises without notice or without announcing its vigour and strength.
Earthquake is the shaking of the ground caused by the sudden breaking and movement of large
plates) of the earth's rocky outermost crust. The edges of the tectonic plates are marked by faults (or fractures). Most earthquakes occur along the fault lines when the plates slide past each other or collide against each other.
The shifting masses send out shock waves that may be powerful enough to
alter the surface of the
earth, thrusting up cliffs and opening great cracks in the ground.
causes great damages like collapse of buildings and other man-made structures, brakes power and gas lines (and the consequent fire), landslides, snow avalanches, tsunamis (giant sea waves) and volcanic eruptions.
Earthquakes may cause devastating destruction to the infrastructure, but they may not kill the people directly. What kills the people during earthquake is the collapse of building structures in which they are living!
Our traditional construction practices of un-reinforced load bearing brick masonry and poorly detailed RCC framed building structures are the root causes for the death toll of thousands and lakhs of people during earthquakes in our country.
Though it is not feasible and economical to construct earthquake-proof buildings,
it is possible to design and construct cost effective and structurally efficient earthquake-resistant buildings of shear wall structural system.