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  Architecture & Engineering

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October 10, 2017

Most Mexico quake deaths were in ‘flat-slab' structures

  • Engineers say Mexico City officials should have forbid this type of construction when they toughened building codes after the 1985 earthquake.
    Associated Press

    MEXICO CITY — Nearly two-thirds of the buildings that collapsed in Mexico City's monstrous earthquake last month were built using a construction method that is now forbidden in seismic hotspots in the United States, Chile and New Zealand, according to new data compiled by a team of structural engineers at Stanford University.

    The suspect building technique called flat slab — in which floors are supported only by concrete columns — caused 61 percent of the building collapses in last month's magnitude 7.1 quake, which killed 369 people and blanketed tree-lined avenues in rubble.

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