A man stands on top of the houses destroyed by a landslide caused by an earthquake in central Philippines.

Philippines earthquake highlights poor construction of coastal buildings

In the coastal areas of the Philippines there are many non-engineered and poorly constructed buildings, according to a catastrophe firm.

The central Philippines island of Negros was struck by a magnitude 6.7 quake on Monday. Fifteen people are known to have been killed, and there are believed to be around 40 people missing. Several remote towns have been cut off because of damage to roads and bridges.

AIR Worldwide said according to local official reports, rescue and communications efforts had been hampered by widespread damage to roads and bridges, and on Negros Island, the extensive loss of power. The most damaging impacts of the quake had been in the region’s mountainous areas, it said.

In the Cebu and Negros areas, as in most of the Philippines, construction was generally reinforced concrete with hollow brick infill, AIR said. Among this type of building, those constructed without engineering consideration were very vulnerable. In the main urban cities such as Cebu, buildings were constructed relatively well, but in coastal areas there were many non-engineered and poorly constructed buildings, the company said.

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