Earthquakes and other natural disasters are unpredictable, destructive and often deadly. In developed and developing countries alike, the cost in human life and infrastructure is very high. The danger to schools is of particular concern, given the concentration of young people attending them and schools' broader role in communities – not the least of which is their common use as places of refuge for the populace after an earthquake or other disaster. Specific focus on potential disaster damage to educational buildings has drawn only sporadic and relatively recent attention in a few countries and international organisations. New schools, including those meant to replace earlier damaged buildings, can be designed to be structurally resistant taking into account local conditions and the degree of earthquake or other natural risks, while techniques exist for retrofitting older, weaker structures. Above all, education and information for school users and the public at large must be the focus of further efforts.
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OECD Code: 952004011P
February, 2004, 119 pages
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