With this recent earthquake in Chiang Rai, there is heightened concern regarding the community’s seismic resiliency. Whether a community leader, building owner or resident of the city of Chiang Rai, all stakeholders have a vested interest in mitigating the seismic risk facing the community, the city and the country.
Immediately after the earthquake, Miyamoto International and Thai PBS surveyed several properties in Chiang Rai. Overall, the majority of buildings in the district were undamaged, but there remains much to be done. A report from the Governor of Chiang Rai’s Compensation Office notes the following number of damaged properties:
With advice from Miyamoto International Thailand, the Deputy Governor and the team heading the assessments agreed to implement a color-coded tagging system like the one used in the 2010 Haiti earthquake to map safe, repairable and unsafe buildings. Similar maps were created by Miyamoto on behalf of the Haitian government after the Port-au-Prince Earthquake. (see map below)
The local government’s efforts are focused on the assessment phase for all buildings in Chiang Rai. The local governor told Thai PBS that the assessments are approximately 60 percent complete and will be fully tagged and color-coded by May 25. It is expected that at least one-third of the damaged homes (9,314 total) will be tagged yellow.
Color Code Definitions:
Green= Inspected and safe to enter
Yellow = Restricted Use (potentially repairable)
Red= Unsafe (may require extensive repair or total replacement)
The local Chiang Rai government, in conjunction with volunteers, students and professors from the University of Chiang Mai, is currently assessing additional structures for the damage.
It is imperative that the development and implementation of a YELLOW HOUSE REPAIR PROGRAM begin immediately to get people back into their homes in a timely manner to minimize socio-economic impacts to the region.
From the assessments conducted by Miyamoto, typical home damage and repair costs have been estimated for the Chiang Rai region; the estimated cost to repair only the structural elements of the home critical to life safety are projected to be approximately 35,000-60,000 Baht ($1,073 – $1,840 USD).
Where the main structures are still in good condition, the building as a whole is salvageable and can be strengthened. The types of damage occurring in most residential structures are soft-story column failures and out-of-plane wall failures.