Are structures in the DR built to withstand earthquakes?

Apr 26, 2002
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Of course

Building codes, like all regulatory activity in the Dominican Republic, are based on internationally recognized norms and enforced to the highest worldwide standards. Just last week, a team of Swiss watchmakers were in Santo Domingo to learn from their Dominican counterparts.

If it's built in the Dominican Republic, you can be assured that it will withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and natural and man-made disasters of all kinds, regardless of magnitude.
 

pedrochemical

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Aug 22, 2008
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Building codes, like all regulatory activity in the Dominican Republic, are based on internationally recognized norms and enforced to the highest worldwide standards. Just last week, a team of Swiss watchmakers were in Santo Domingo to learn from their Dominican counterparts.

If it's built in the Dominican Republic, you can be assured that it will withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and natural and man-made disasters of all kinds, regardless of magnitude.

Fireguy + 1

I had to laugh too...

Regardless of magnitude??
WTF??
 
May 29, 2006
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Some yes, some no. It also depends on how big of an Earthquake. There are a fair amount of minor earthquakes in the DR and if you don't put in rebar and other reinforcements the walls can crack pretty quick. But it's a crapshoot if the motar they used was any good. The DR has had most modern buildings built with cinderblocks while in Haiti it was homemade lime with soft rocks for aggregate. Look in any town and you are going to see a lot of rebar sticking out of buildings in case they decide to put on another floor.

Someone is going to start a precast concrete business in the DR for and then they can open a whole new class of buildings. The big thing now in the US is Insulated Concrete Forms. I think it would be a big hit in the DR since they are quick and much stronger than cinderblocks. The big money saver is if you intend to use AC since they have a 17-26 R value.

Most homes on the Ex-pat market are built to good standards, but check it out before you buy. Modern constrution companies that are up to mainland specs will be sure to let you know about it.
 

NALs

Polls Forum Moderator
Jan 20, 2003
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Many people need to understand that Haiti is a special case. The degree of underdevelopment there is so great that its simply incomparable to any other country in the hemisphere. The second poorest country in the hemisphere is either Nicaragua or Bolivia, and both are light years ahead of Haiti.

With that in mind, let's not lose sight than in 2001 El Salvador suffered a 7.9 earthquake (Haiti's was 7.3) and only 1,200 people lost their lives and, compared to Haiti's, relatively little damage.

The DR resembles more El Salvador than Haiti in development at all levels, including construction techniques and enforcement. If anything, El Salvador's 2001 earthquake is a better predictor of what it would be like in the DR, and keep in mind that most of El Salvador deaths were due to a land slide that was triggered by the earthquake.

In 2003 the DR was hit with a 6.0+ earthquake and the damages was relatively few, the deaths did not even reached 100 victims or, to put it another way, Puerto Plata didn't lose not even 1% of its population. The lack of significant victims or damaged caused this earthquake to be completely ignored by the international media. Compare that to Port-au-Prince which lost approximately 20% of its population and an even larger percent of its infrastructure. For further comparison, look into what happened in El Salvador and other countries in the region.

What happened in Haiti is a unique tragedy because Haiti itself is a unique and special case of underdevelopment unlike anywhere else outside of sub-Saharan Africa.

Rest assure, the same earthquake strikes in the DR and the results will be completely different and much less tragic.
 

bluebayou

New member
Jan 26, 2010
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Are you serious?????

Are you serious or what?? Building codes for hurricanes or earthquakes are violated everywhere on a regular basis. Miami is a good example. Take raw materials from any island and you end up with sub-standard. Concrete is a good example. Sand, beach sand, beach sand with salt water, daaa, what happens when you put calcium or salt on ice or snow?
Beaches all over the Caribbean are being robbed of their sand. This sand is being sold to investors and individuals that are building.... importing is cost prohibitive. Obviously these crooks or beach robbers are not washing or processing the sand before selling in illegally. Equates to concrete that will fall apart in a few years.
For those that know their history, the mansion, the Folly in the Port Antonio area of Jamaica is a good example. Built less than 30 years ago this beautiful place has literally disintegrated. It looks like it was hit by a hurricane.
Somehow I get the feeling the OP is an engineer???
 

NALs

Polls Forum Moderator
Jan 20, 2003
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Somehow I get the feeling the OP is an engineer???
I don't know about the OP, but I am related to a few civil engineers by profession, starting with my own father. They pretty much agree with ACROPOVI's and CODIA's statements about this.
 

RUBIO4U

New member
Apr 1, 2008
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I appreciate the humor folks. However, this is a serious issue. Unless you have actually been down here during a quake, ease up on the jokes. These buildings are NOT safe. My advice is to be as prepared as possible and expect the unexpected.