Soil liquefaction is believed to be the reason behind the building collapses following the 7.5 magnitude quake that hit Indonesia, according to scientists. It occurs when soil gets completely saturated. The gaps between the soil particles gets filled with water. During seismic shaking, the bonds between these particles is lost, leading to a reduction of the soil’s strength and stiffness.
Soil liquefaction is also thought to be the reason behind the wide scale devastation during the 2011 quakes that hit Japan and Christchurch, New Zealand.
Adhering to building codes that consider the effects of soil liquefaction in the design phase, as well as adopting drainage systems that prevent the build up of water pressure during seismic shaking and strengthening soil deposits are some of the ways to prevent or mitigate the consequences of soil liquefaction, Dr Galasso added.
News Source – The Guardian.