Sunday, August 20, 2006

Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions

Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia

My last day on Java. Last night I stayed at a cheap hotel in the city centre. And I got what I paid for ($10), no windows and giant cockroaches. You can hear them clicking and making noises at night. So first thing this morning I checked in at the Hyatt Regency, it doesn't get any better than this. It's heaven on earth. Pure heaven!

Today I hired a car and driver so I could investigate earthquake damage from the May 2006 Earthquake. It makes you wonder, most all of the confined masonry houses I saw were still okay. And I'm sure all of them didn't have out of plane reinforcing. It was the typical unreinforced masonry houses that were collapsed. So the question is do we really need the out of plane reinforcing if it's confined?

I did see this big building... laid wasted in the path of the earthquake.

At the end of the day I had the driver pass by Mount Merapi. He ended up, without me knowing, taking me to see some of the pyroclastic ash flows from the most resent eruptions in June. Quite scary, when this ash flow hurdled down the mountain at speeds over 300 km/hr, it wasted this village (see below).

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