On 20 April 2013, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale hit Lushan County of Ya’an City in Sichuan Province. Many farmhouses in the affected areas are damaged seriously, and lots of people are affected by the earthquake. Power, communications and transportation are disrupted and need restoration. It is also crucial to determine the level of damage to facilities and buildings, and whether they are safe to be re-used. Together with Ir Professor Choy Kin Kuen, President of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, I visited Ya’an City, Lushan County and some reconstruction projects funded by the Hong Kong Government in the aftermath of the 512 earthquake. We found that though there are damages on partition walls and ceilings, the main structures of the buildings visited remain safe. For the widespread rumor on using styrofoam in construction of the buildings, we found that it is actually used as outside insulation layer for energy conservation purposes so as to keep warm inside in winter. Those buildings under reconstruction projects met the current building code of Mainland, and the objective of “no damage in minor earthquakes, repairable damage during medium earthquakes and no collapses during big earthquakes”. 

立法會盧偉國議員 博士 工程師 (工程界)
Legislative Council Ir Dr Hon Lo Wai Kwok (Functional Constituency - Engineering)