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Earthquakes and Structures
  Volume 5, Number 3, September 2013, pages 297-319

Engineering implications of the RC building damages after 2011 Van Earthquakes
Hayri Baytan Ozmen, Mehmet Inel and Bayram Tanik Cayci

    Two destructive earthquakes occurred on October 23 and November 9, 2011 in Van province of Turkey. The damage in residential units shows significant deviation from the expectation of decreasing damage with increasing distance to epicenter. The most damaged settlement Ercis has the same distance to the epicenter with Muradiye, where no damage occurred while relatively less damage observed in Van having half distance. These three cities seem to have resembling soil conditions. If the damages are evaluated: joint failures and insufficient lap splice lengths are observed to be the main causes of the total collapses in RC buildings. Additionally, low concrete strength, reinforcement detailing mistakes, soft story, heavy overhang, pounding and short columns are among other damage reasons. Examples of damages due to non-structural elements are also given. Remarkable points about seismic damages are: collapsed buildings with shear-walls, heavily damaged buildings despite adequate concrete strength due to detailing mistakes, undamaged two-story adobe buildings close to totally collapsed RC ones and undamaged structural system in buildings with heavily damaged non-structural elements. On the contrary of the common belief that buildings with shear-walls are immune to total collapse among civil engineers, collapse of Gedikbulak primary school is a noteworthy example.
Key Words
    Ercis; distance to epicenter; irregularity; reinforced concrete; seismic damage; shear wall; Van
Department of Civil Engineering, Usak University, 64200 Usak, Turkey
Department of Civil Engineering, Pamukkale University, 20070 Denizli, Turkey

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