Industry News

Earthquake code snafu raises disaster concerns worldwide

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A furor has arisen in Japan over an architect accused of producing buildings that don't meet earthquake building codes, underlining worldwide concerns in the wake of disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Hidetsugu Aneha, a prominent Japanese architect, is said to have designed more than 20 buildings over the last decade that would not withstand a moderate earthquake, doing so to cut costs and win more commissions, the New York Times reported Saturday. The issue has become a cause celebre, media accounts said, with seven hotels being forced to close, including a 260-room tower that opened in August near the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Many of the buildings Aneha worked on were apartment buildings, reports said. Disaster prevention is increasingly a part of global consciousness, especially in light of events such as Hurricane Katrina and the severe temblor that assaulted the port of Kobe, Japan, 10 years ago, killing some 6,000 people. Though none of the buildings designed by Aneha...