Earthquake induced structural and non-structural damage in hospitals

The Sichuan (China) and L’Aquila (Italy) earthquakes have again highlighted the question of our preparedness for natural hazards. Within a few seconds, an earthquake can demolish many buildings, destroy infrastructure, and kill and injure thousands of people. In order to reduce the impact of earthquakes on human life and to prepare hospitals to cope with future disasters, this paper discusses earthquake-related damage to healthcare facilities. It investigates the damage to 34 healthcare facilities in seven countries caused by nine earthquakes between 1994 and 2004, in order to determine common and specific issues. The investigation shows that structural and architectural damage tended to be different and specific to the situation, while utility supplies and equipment damage were similar in most cases and some common trends emerged.