The Wenchuan earthquake in China’s Sichuan province in May was a major disaster:70,000 people killed, 18,000 missing, 375,000 injured, 5 million people homeless.
China is in the largest orogenic (which means ‘pertaining to deformation of a continental margin to the extent that a mountain range is formed‘ which is how the Himalayas got there) zone on the planet. But according to Hong Kong-based seismologist Dr. Michael Spranger Wenchuan had ‘never been considered high-risk compared to cities near other fault lines.’
After the Wenchuan earthquake, the earthquake risk in China is even higher because of tectonic shifting. The plates of the earth were moved by that earthquake.
The Straits Times in Singapore revealed two government-sponsored earthquake studies are in progress, both by NTU, both trying to find what action should be taken.
The business impact of planning to mitigate, respond to and recover from earthquakes will be significant all over Asia, even if no more earthquakes occur for many years.
First of all, insurance companies are very concerned. The might face a tsunami of claims from a big earthquake in one of Asia’s megacities. Which means insurance rates are bound to go. Perhaps by a significant margin.
If building codes are revised to mandate greater resistance to horizontal ground motion (lead dissipators , for example, or lead & rubber bearings), commercial construction costs will increase even more than they have in the last year. Those costs will be passed on to the consumer.
The impact of another series of serious earthquake in Asia will be felt by businesses around the world. The impact of the recent earthquakes seem destined to mean higher property prices in the medium term.
Source: ZDNet Asia