Natural Hazards

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 237–249 | Cite as

Reconnaissance observations on the buildings damaged by the 2010 Taiwan Kaohsiung earthquake

  • Heui-Yung Chang
  • Ker-Chun Lin
Original Paper


On March 4, 2010, at 08:18 local time, an earthquake with a magnitude of ML 6.4 hits southern Taiwan. The earthquake occurred in the mountainous area of Kaohsiung County at a depth of 22.64 km. The epicenter was located in the area struck by the 2009 Morakot Typhoon, which destroyed nearly 2,000 houses, leaving 461 people dead and 192 missing. Trapped residents were moved from the affected regions, and the earthquake did not cause any deaths, but injured 96 people. Damage reports were also issued on low-rise and mid-rise reinforced concrete (RC) buildings located 30 km or more from the epicenter. This paper presents the main results of a damage investigation on the largest seismic disaster in a century in the county of Kaohsiung. The focus was on the damage incurred by different types of building structures, including governmental, religious, commercial, and residential buildings. Detailed descriptions are given of the structural configurations as well as the types of damage sustained by five selected buildings. Suggestions are also made to prevent similar damage to low-rise RC buildings in a future disaster.


Low-rise RC buildings Damage investigation Structural configurations Earthquake collapse mechanism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNational University of KaohsiungNanzih District, KaohsiungTaiwan
  2. 2.Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE)TaipeiTaiwan

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