The performance of buildings during the January 26, 2001, earthquake in the Kachchh region of the province of Gujarat in India is discussed. A majority of the buildings in the earthquake region were either of load-bearing masonry or reinforced concrete framed structure. Most of the masonry buildings were built with random or coursed stone walls without any reinforcement and heavy clay tile roofing supported on wooden logs. A large number of such buildings collapsed leading to widespread destruction and loss of life. Many reinforced concrete frame buildings had infill masonry walls except in the first storey, which was reserved for parking. As would be expected, the open first storey suffered severe damage or collapsed. Observations of failures confirmed the vulnerability of some structural details that are known to lead to distress. However, an important observation to come out of the earthquake was that masonry infills, even when not tied to the surrounding frame, could save the building from collapse, provided such infills are uniformly distributed throughout the height so that abrupt changes in stiffness and strength did not occur.

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Keywords Bhuj earthquake, 2001, Earthquake damage survey, Load bearing masonry, Performance of buildings, Reinforced concrete frames, Seismology of Kachchh, Structural details vulnerable to earthquakes
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Journal Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering
Humar, J.M. (Jag Mohan), Lau, D.T, & Pierre, J.-R. (Jean-Robert). (2001). Performance of buildings during the 2001 Bhuj earthquake. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 28(6), 979–991. doi:10.1139/l01-070