Seismic risk of critical facilities in the Dominican Republic: case study of school buildings

Rojas-Mercedes, NJ, Di Sarno, L ORCID: 0000-0001-6244-3251, Simonelli, AL and Penna, A
(2020) Seismic risk of critical facilities in the Dominican Republic: case study of school buildings. Soft Computing, 24. 13579 - 13595.

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The island of Hispaniola, shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, is located in a subduction zone between the North America plate and the Caribbean plate. In addition, there are 13 geological faults in the interior of the island, some of which have shown the potential to generate earthquakes of magnitude 7.5 and higher. Thus, the whole island is considered to be a high seismic risk region. In the past 100 years, several earthquakes have affected both parts of the island. In the case of the Dominican Republic, two earthquakes stand out: a magnitude 8.1 earthquake on August 4, 1946, north of the Samaná Province, which caused a tsunami, soil liquefaction, and the loss of about 100 lives, and a magnitude 6.5 earthquake on September 22, 2003, in the city of Puerto Plata, which caused significant damage for infrastructures. Among the observed effects, the partial and total collapse of several school buildings had a remarkable impact on local communities. In addition to the high seismic risk, a large part of the national infrastructure may exhibit high vulnerability to earthquakes because the seismic regulations had been the same for 32 years, namely from 1979 to 2011. During these three decades, thousands of structures were built nationwide, including essential facilities such as hospitals and schools. Considering that the current student population in public schools in the Dominican Republic is over 2 million, with the majority attending buildings that were designed with the 1979 seismic code and which proved to be highly vulnerable during the Puerto Plata earthquake, it is vital to take measures that reduce the risk and minimize potential earthquake damage to school buildings. In this context, the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC) has undertaken recently a project with the main objective to assess the seismic vulnerability of 22 schools located in the San Cristóbal Province, in the south of the Dominican Republic. The latter schools were all built prior to the adoption of the current updated seismic code. This paper presents the results of the assessment of the Fernando Cabral Ortega School. Although only the results of a single RC building are presented, the response of such structure can be considered representative of a portfolio of existing schools in Dominican Republic.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: seismic risk analysis, seismic vulnerability, existing structures, school, Dominican Republic
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2019 11:08
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2022 07:13
DOI: 10.1007/s00500-019-04361-0
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