The impact of the 12 May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake on industrial facilities

Abstract : This study describes the results of a field trip to the area affected by the 12 May, 2008, Wenchuan earthquake to analyse its impact on industrial facilities. The damage severity correlates well with the age of the plant, with older facilities having suffered more extensive and severe damage than those built more recently according to the latest design codes. The main cause of worker death and injury was the collapse of warehouses, office and manufacturing buildings. This concerned mostly concrete structures with insufficient confinement or poor reinforcement. The falling debris resulted in equipment damage and loss, as well as pipe severing and crushing. Pipes were also severed or bent when connected tanks were displaced or buildings collapsed. Numerous hazardous-materials releases occurred with spills being the dominant accident scenario. In some sites soil-liquefaction induced damage was evident, highlighting the need to consider potential site effects when selecting the location for a facility. The impact of the Wenchuan earthquake on chemical facilities confirms the findings from other earthquakes in terms of typical Natech damage and failure modes, as well as of hazardous-materials release potential and mechanisms.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 21, 2014 - 2:18:48 PM
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Elisabeth Krausmann, Ana Maria Cruz, Bastien Affeltranger. The impact of the 12 May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake on industrial facilities. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Elsevier, 2010, 23 (2), pp.242-248. ⟨10.1016/j.jlp.2009.10.004⟩. ⟨ineris-00963229⟩

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