Axis Capital Group

The cost ofnatural disasters to infrastructures, lives, property and livelihood haveskyrocketed in the last few decades, as the world’s population has grown andpeople have started residing in areas that are vulnerable to naturalhazards. The most successful way to mitigateloss of life and property is to create buildings that are disaster resistant. AxisCapital Group, a construction company based in Singapore with a branch inIndonesia, also experienced great loss when natural hazards hit just like anyother construction companies and other businesses.

The AsianRegion is extremely susceptible to natural disasters and attended hazards, beit due to earthquakes, cyclones/typhoons, landslides, floods or droughts. Thedeveloping countries are increasingly exposed to the risks with rapidly growingpopulation. The socio-economic costs of such disasters have long-termrepercussions on societies. Creation of safer habitat to deal with thevulnerability risks due to natural disasters, therefore, assumes significant importance.

When thetsunami hit Sumatra, businesses even those in the capital, Jakarta,Indonesia started to decrease and fall down. In Japan, billions of dollarsand thousands of lives were lost during the 2011 tsunami and the home oftechnology, infrastructure and modernization in the country has broken down. Complaintson the cost of lives, livelihood and property have brought countries andgovernment in the brink of despair.

The unsafestructures from the point of earthquake forces and effects, cyclonic windloading and forces etc. contribute fully to the damages due to structuraldeficiency in design and unsafe construction features. These result instructural collapse resulting in massive loss to life and property, leave alonethe continuing economic loss due to the havoc caused by disasters. The natureof damages in traditional construction with large masses and heavy traditional/ vernacular stone/brick masonry construction and heavy roofing systems furtheraffect the lives of people carrying out various vocational activities.

Post-disasterreconstruction must be seen as an opportunity to reduce the risk to lives byintegrating disaster resilient practices in settlement planning, buildingdesign and construction. While traditional and indigenous technologies may beenvironmentally and socially sustainable, it is a