Monday, February 8, 2016

Taiwan Earthquake and The Tin Cans

Blue paint cans, seen sandwiched in between a layer of concrete, appear to have been used in the construction of Wei-Kuan apartment complex, which collapsed in the 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Saturday.

On February 6th, 2016, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Tainan city, located in the southern part of Taiwan. Currently, rescuers are still trying to rescue more than a hundred missing people in apartments and several other historic buildings. 

There has been a new finding of blue oil tin cans within the walls of an apartment building. Investigations are now attempting to determine if the blue tin cans went against building restrictions. A Taiwanese law established that using these tin cans were in fact illegal, but if the building was created before a certain time period, the tin cans could be used. After construction reform laws went into place, contractors could still use other fillers, such as styrofoam. 

This raises a few questions in terms of safety and security. Given that Taiwan is located near the Ring of Fire, should Taiwan have tighter building restrictions? 

An interesting component of the story is that a few days after the earthquake, many news organizations are giving an update on the progress of the rescue with a focus on the tin cans. Are news organizations overemphasizing this finding? Is this an example that shows that news organizations are businesses?


1 comment:

Kristen Tamsil said...

Taiwan is located in the Ring of Fire. Taiwan is also not a poor country. I would definitely think that construction shortcuts, whether this actually caused the building to collapse during the earthquake, should be abolished. The government should take a high priority to upgrade its building code, streamline any red-tape that's possible for building inspection process, to prevent buildings from "pancaking" like we see in the Taiwan quake. The government of Taiwan should be more aggressive and vigilant in its building processes, including constructions of roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructures.