After Series of Earthquakes: How resistant are Buildings in Bosnia-Herzegovina?


After a major earthquake that shook Albania, and a long and severe tremor in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), many left their homes in fear of the earthquake effects. Historian and architect Mufid Garibija commented on the endurance of new and old buildings in these situations.

Magnitude 5.4 earthquake hit BiH at 10:20 yesterday morning. The epicenter was in the Herzegovina area, 11 km from Nevesinje and 77 km south of Sarajevo at a depth of 10 km. Garibija referred to the large earthquake in Banja Luka and said that many safety measures had been introduced since then.

‘’Since the earthquake in Banja Luka, the law has changed, and more attention has been paid to these details during the construction process. The buildings that were built after that, had to be stable, good, flexible… When I say this, I refer especially to higher buildings that are built in a wat that they can handle these seismic movements,’’ Garibija explains, saying the residents of skyscrapers have no reason to worry.

He adds that Sarajevo is lucky to have Treskavica nearby, which absorbs all the energy and releases the city from it. Garibija calls it an ‘’exhalation’’ that helps Sarajevo a lot when it comes to situations like these.

‘’This is God’s giving. Treskavica (shaking mountain) is called like that because it is constantly shaking and releasing all that energy that would otherwise be in the ground below Sarajevo. But, it is important to emphasize that Sarajevo has had quality construction since the time of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman construction,’’ he says.

He points out that Bosnian houses are built so that they are flexible and can endure major earthquakes. As an architect and engineer, he emphasizes that Sarajevo is lucky that all objects are extremely stable, and there is no reason to worry.

There is information that the buildings from old construction in Sarajevo can endure up to 6.5-6.8 magnitude earthquake. Garibija was asked if this applies to new buildings as well, and how much this kind of things are taken into account when it comes to construction of the new buildings.

‘’It is hard to say precisely, but I can say that up to six or six and a half is tolerable, and everything above that is dangerous. Buildings are made to shake. People get nervous when it comes to shaking, but it is important to know that the buildings are set in that way, but their foundation is made so that they can endure large earthquakes. Again, I have to emphasize, up to 6.5 degrees on the Richter scale is tolerable, and everything above it is being characterized as the danger for the whole city,’’ Garibija explains, portal reports.

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