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Liquefaction Damage

In the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake, over 2,400 people were killed, and 11,000 were injured.  Many buildings, highways, bridges, harbor facilities, and other infrastructure components were severely damaged or collapsed.  Damage estimate, including lost productivity, ranges from U.S. $20 billion to $30 billion (EERI, 2001). 

One of the causes for the heavy damage to buildings, lifeline systems, and harbor facilities is the widespread liquefaction caused by the Chi-Chi earthquake.  Figure 1 shows a survey on foundation damages by the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE, Taiwan, 2000) after the Chi-Chi earthquake.  Among the 467 foundation damage cases reported, 67 cases (14%) were caused by earthquake-induced liquefaction. 


Figure 1. Foundation damage survey after the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake (NCREE, 2000)

Besides foundation failure, evidences of widespread liquefaction such as sand boiling, settlement and lateral spreading were observed after the earthquake (See "Liquefaction Album" for photos).  Sites with liquefaction evidences and damage are summarized in Figure 2.  As shown in the figure, the areas suffering the most severe liquefaction were Yuanlin, Wufeng, and Nantou. 



Figure 2. Distribution of liquefaction sites in the Chi-Chi earthquake (NCREE, 2000)

In this study, data from Wufeng, Zhang-Bin Industrial Park, Dachun, Yuanlin, Shetou, Nantou, and Dounan were collected and analyzed.  These data are presented in other sections of this web site. 



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