Italy earthquake exposes poor building standards

A 9-year-old hospital building collapsed, bringing into question building standards in Italy.

By Source: Reuters April 8, 2009

According to a Reuters story , L’Aquila’s new public hospital was hailed as a state-of-the-art, earthquake-proof building when it opened in 2000. But it collapsed along with many centuries-old monuments in the earthquake that struck the city Monday.

The San Salvatore hospital, evacuated after its walls gave way, forcing doctors to treat quake victims and ordinary patients in a courtyard, has exposed inadequate infrastructure in the area.

As the death toll from Italy’s worst earthquake since 1980 topped 200, shocked Italians asked how modern buildings–not just historic churches and stone houses–could crumble into pieces in a region known for its high seismic risk.

The earthquake occurred in the Abruzzo region .

Time also covered the story in depth.