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Surviving an Earthquake - Transcript


00:00            Wide – earthquake wreckage
                      Rescuers in earthquake wreckage
                      Survivor being pulled from wreckage
                      c.u. survivor on stretcher
                      c.u. baby pulled from wreckage
                      Child survivor being washed down
                      Child crying
                      Buildings collapsing
                      Wide – buildings collapsing

* note – all the above is archive footage of the 1985 Mexican earthquake. It is rights free for international broadcast and non-broadcast use.

                      Medium – Second Severn Bridge, Bristol, England
                      Wide – Second Severn Bridge
                      Exterior University of the West of England Engineering faculty
                      Tilt down front of University of Bristol Engineering faculty
                      c.u. Faculty sign

Guide voice: Earthquakes are one of nature’s most devastating forces. They claim, on average, 8,700 lives a year and the human, economic and social damage to communities is truly staggering. Over the last one hundred years earthquakes are estimated to have killed more than a million people throughout the world and caused billions of dollars of damage.

The South West of England may seem an unlikely location to find cutting edge research into living with Earthquakes, but Universities in the region are home to some of the World’s leading investigators in this field.

00:39  SOT: Dr. Adam Crewe, Lecturer in Civil Engineering, University of Bristol - “The main reason for doing earthquake engineering research in the UK is because we're training engineers who are going to be practising worldwide, so graduates at Bristol university will be learning about earthquakes, they'll then get into industry and be designing buildings that will be built throughout the world, and they need to know how to design those to withstand the earthquakes”.

01:00            Tilt down, new main hall in BLADE facility
                      c.u. hoist
                      Wide of new hall in BLADE facility
                      Sequence, research students testing model              

Guide voice: The University of Bristol will be home to the new BLADE facility, the Bristol Laboratory for Advanced Dynamics Engineering, bringing together a range of scientists and equipment that will provide extensive testing and evaluation to improve the structure and construction of buildings in areas at risk. The key elements in reducing the impact of earthquakes on human life are to build new structures that better resist the effects of earthquakes and to find ways to strengthen existing structures.

01:34 SOT – Dr. Adam Crewe: “This new facility at Bristol is going to be fairly unique worldwide. It’s going to be one of the largest ones in Europe and we’ve incorporated a lot of technologies and specific designs in the building that will allow us to do a lot of tests that no-one else in the world can do.”

01:51            Exterior – University of the West of England
                      Interior, engineering faculty, researcher testing base isolation materials
                      c.u. bearings testing
                      Extreme c.u. bearings testing
                      Researcher reaching for bearing
                      c.u. bearing                       

Guide voice: At the nearby University of the West of England scientists are conducting research into materials used in base isolation techniques. Base isolation is increasingly seen as an important means of reducing the impact of shaking on large structures.

02:09  SOT: Dr.Vince Coveney. Reader (Mechanical Engineering) Engineering, Medicine & Elastomers Research Centre, University of the West of England – “The objective of my work is to understand better how the bearing works both this year, shortly after the bearing is installed in the building but also in 20 or 30 years time when the bearing is aged. How is the bearing going to behave after that length of time?”

02:30 – Adam Crewe demonstrates a shaking table model and the effects of base isolation on shaking buildings. –Here we’ve got a little shaking table and I can actually put earthquakes through that into these models. If I switch on the earthquake now you can see the tall building start to vibrate quite badly – and I’ve built into this a protection system, if I undo the base a little bit and isolate it from the ground you can see now that the ground moves underneath the building and the building stays where it is. If I reconnect it back to the ground the building starts vibrating again.”

03:04            Researcher in testing Laboratory
                      Researcher’s face reflected in computer screen
                      Wider of above
                      Tower model sinking into sand on shaking table 

Guide voice: A good understanding of the dynamics of all structures is essential in designing buildings to withstand earthquakes – the more scientists understand the effect of earthquakes on a wide range of structures the more likely they are to develop and design new protection systems, reducing economic impact and, most importantly, saving lives.

03:24  SOT: Dr. Vince Coveney: “My dream, if you like, is to have large areas of buildings isolated against earthquakes using various base isolation techniques, so that you have a whole community on a platform and that platform is isolated against earthquakes by base isolation techniques.”

03:47  SOT: Dr. Adam Crewe: “I’m very optimistic about the future of earthquake engineering, we’re already doing very well protecting new buildings and I’m sure that 10 or 20 years down the line we’ll have developed the technologies to protect these older, less well built buildings.”          

04:04  James Brownjohn, Professor of Structural Engineering, University of Plymouth -I believe one of the areas we should be focusing on more and more in the future is the protection of low cost dwelling houses because there is a huge loss of life involved and it’s a relatively small investment.”

04:17            End of cut piece.

Additional Material

These two stories (Fear of a Fat Future and Surviving Earthquakes) are drawn from presentations at the BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science) Festival of Science, held in the city of Exeter from the 4th – 11th Sept. 2004.

This additional material is a series of shots from the Festival showing signage, visitors to the event and a lecture in progress.

Duration of Additional material – 01.00 mins.


Page contact: J Bolton Last revised: Fri 1 Apr 2005
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