These techniques were not observable in the multitude of buildings I saw in course of construction.
At the edge of the African plate and through Sinai, Egypt abuts the edge of the Asian plate and the Rift Valley, the Red Sea providing the hinge points between the two. It is likely that the legendary withdrawal of water from the Red Sea which allowed the Isrealites to escape only for the Egyptians to be drowned by the returning water was an earthquake Tsunami effect. The Sinai peninsular and the Hurghada coast are being developed for tourism and are in a risk zone as is Cairo. Anyone wanting to buy or invest in property, holiday villas or apartments for sale in Egypt would be well advised to take advice from reputable independant architects or structural engineers with established earthquake experience, research and observation of building survivals in quake zones. The plans of the building that you might purchase should be made available to the purchaser's structural expert together with a statement of what quake resistance technique has been incorporated and is being relied upon in the construction.
Egypt is not unique in earthquake vulnerability nor more vulnerable than many other favourite places around the Mediterranean. It is, however, subject to the most massive of current building programmes with design and construction which seems to be largely universal and ubiquitous. In view of the population expansion, such techniques must be seen to be sound to ensure that enormous human disasters are to be avoided. To many people, all that building standards mean is how smooth their plaster is and the standard of plumbing. News reports of the Cairo quake in 1992 mentioned that a 13 storey apartment building collapsed and over-all then only 340 people were killed and 4000 injured. Since then, the population densities have increased together with the numbers of multi-storey buildings. Building standards should be applied and where possible improvements made to existing inadequately protected buildings - and if people are buying a house, villa or apartment, they should pay attention to this more than just whether or not the water from the sink toddles across the floor on its way to the drain. It is so easy to get swept away by the salesman and the glossy brochure offering that tempting place in the sun to buy . . . Even low buildings should be designed with vibration resistant principles in mind to avoid disasters such as on 26th January 2001 in Bhuj in Gujurat India and on 19th May 363 AD at Petra in Jordan.
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