Kaohsiung Identifies Over 200 Buildings at Risk During Earthquakes

kaohsiung taiwan

Following the devastating earthquake in Hualien, Kaohsiung has released a list of buildings in the city that it believes are at risk in the event of an earthquake.

The Kaohsiung Department of Building Affairs identified more than 240 buildings that it believes have structural concerns, UDN reported.

Building Affairs Commissioner Su Chun-chieh (蘇俊傑) said today that the city is checking on buildings but owners have not been willing to allow detailed assessments.

Two years ago, the city began a public housing health checkup project to encourage residents of developments with more than six floors and built before December 31, 1999, to apply for assessments. The city government offered subsidies to cover the fees of initial assessments. The city received 3,656 applications for initial assessments and found more than 240 buildings in need of detailed assessments and possible earthquake reinforcement. Su added, however, that none of those buildings have undergone a detailed assessment.

Su said that the city will provide subsidies of up to NT$400,000 (US$13,628) for the detailed assessments. He estimates that the detailed assessment could cost about NT$1 million, plus the cost of reinforcement work.

Residents, however, are worried about covering additional costs and the potential effect on real estate values.

Public Works statistics note that there are more than 170,000 buildings in Kaohsiung that are over 30 years old. Meanwhile, the 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.

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