While earthquakes cannot be predicted in the short term, we can work to mitigate the consequences by applying current standards for earthquake-resistant construction.
Seismic activity in France is low, but mandatory earthquake regulations nonetheless cover almost 21,000 towns in Metropolitan France.
Earthquake-resistant engineering design is based on a number of key principles: the choice of a suitable location; conducting an analysis of seismic activity to form the basis of construction design choices based on key earthquake acceleration data; architectural design to optimise earthquake resistance; the use of high-quality materials.
Construction requirements vary depending on the type of construction and the earthquake activity zone in which the building will be located: more stringent regulations will apply to constructions in an area of high seismic activity, such as the Antilles, than to the same building in Strasbourg, for example. Within the same area of seismic activity, the requirements vary according to building type: the regulations for a hospital will be more stringent than for a family home.
These rules also apply to existing buildings when major renovation work is carried out. Lastly, stricter construction regulations apply to all sensitive or strategic buildings (hospitals, fire stations, schools and so on), which are subject to mandatory earthquake-resistance criteria.
For more information: www.afps-seisme.org