1 BUILDING PERFORMANCE IN THE BOUM ERDES, ALGERIA, EARTHQUAKE OF MAY 21, 2003
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1 BUILDING PERFORMANCE IN THE BOUM ERDES, ALGERIA, EARTHQUAKE OF MAY 21, 2003
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1 BUILDING PERFORMANCE IN THE BOUMERDES, ALGERIA, EARTHQUAKE OF MAY 21, 2003

Author: Svetlana Brzev British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby, | Size: 1.1 MB | Format: PDF | Quality: Unspecified | Year: 2003 | pages: 13

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Algeria, a gateway between Europe and Africa, is located in Northern Africa. The Sahara desert covers over 80% of the country’s territory. A narrow northern zone is dominated by the Atlas mountain chain. The population of Algeria is over 30 million – most of the population lives in the northern part of the country. The capital city Algiers (including the suburbs) has the population of around 3.5 million. Algeria was under the French rule from 1830 to 1962, and prior to that under the Turkish rule for 300 years. With regards to the seismotectonic setting, the northern part of Algeria is located at the margin
between the north moving African plate and the Eurasian plate, creating a zone of compression,
which manifests itself by a series of thrust and normal faults that have been mapped in the area.
This region has a rich history of seismicity and had experienced many destructive earthquakes in the past (see Fig.1). According to the historic records, the capital Algiers was completely destroyed by a major earthquake in 1365; there are also reports of earthquakes that struck Northern Algeria in 1887, 1910, 1922, and 1934. On October 10, 1980, the city of El Asnam (formerly Orleansville and today Ech-Cheliff) was severely damaged by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that killed at least 3000 people (El Asnam is situated approximately 220 km to the west of the May 21, 2003 earthquake). The same city, as Orleansville, had been heavily damaged on September 9, 1954, by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake that killed over 1000 people. Five other damaging earthquakes (of magnitude 5.4 or higher) were reported in the country in the period
from 1989 to 2000.


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