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Giving to NICEE
Bihar-Nepal Earthquake of August 21, 1988

The rather moderate sized (magnitude 6.6) Bihar earthquake of August 21, 1988 demonstrated clearly that the Indian Engineering profession is far from prepared for a larger earthquake. During the author's extensive travel within the areas affected by this earthquake, it became clearer that the engineering community should immediately initiate serious and coordinated efforts to prepare for the possibility of a large earthquake in many parts of India or nearby countries. This paper discusses some such efforts and possible strategies. Suggested strategies for being better prepared include rationalization and implementation of seismic codes, review of actual construction practices, seismic safety evaluation of critical facilities such as dams and refineries, training and preparation of field engineers for handling post-earthquake situations and learning from earthquakes.

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