Asian Disasters Exacerbated by Inadequate Infrastructure

Many of the deaths of the past few rounds of storms and earthquakes are due to inadequate drainage systems, poor building regulation enforcement, and lack of emergency planning.
October 7, 2009, 12pm PDT | Alek Miller
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"Fauzi Bahar, Padang's mayor, said the city began enforcing stiffer building regulations in 2002 after a series of earthquakes, but the rules are often flouted by construction companies trying to save money on building materials. 'They are only thinking about costs, not the safety of the people,' he said. 'Most of the buildings that collapsed were those that didn't follow updated building codes,' he said. The local government lacks resources to check all buildings, he said, with only four staff members to check building licenses. The largest public hospital in Padang was among the area's most heavily damaged buildings, forcing doctors to treat patients in unsanitary conditions in makeshift tents."

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Published on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 in The Wall Street Journal
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