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Conflict and Natural Disasters
 
emergency shelters
hey hi..i am doing architecture from India.......my final yr thesis topic goes like 'temporary structures for disaster mitigation'....i am searching for emergency shelters provided during the bhuj earthquake and tsunami(in south-east india) a few yrs back....if anyone has got any matter in that regard .....i would to have a look at it...
Kruttika Gulhane
Responses
 
emergency shelters
Hello, kruttika
Very interesting topic, if you are doing your undergrad from india, then for the information you require you can get from an NGO - Hunnarshala, Abhiyaan, Setu - all located and operated from Bhuj city. They have been actively participitating in "emergency shelters" - as you named it, in Bhuj earthquake 2001, and Tsunami.

Their actual focus area is on research in traditional building practices and policy making with innovative usage of contextually available techniques and materials.
Akshay Anand
emergency shelters
It would be good idea to contact the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva. They have quite a number of recent publications on the topic.
Good luck!
Karel Bos
emergency shelters
Thanks a lot for your reply guys
@ Akshay
I checked out websites regarding Hunnarshala and Abhiyaan NGOs.......both of the NGOs basically deal with the 'permanent' rehabilitation...... I am looking for Temporary shelters which would come into the picture immediately after a disaster and last for 6-8 months till the permanent rehabilitation is provided.........for my dissertation i wish to target only the first stage of any disaster mitigation program.......there are many NGOs that deal with Permanent rehabilition......i wanted to know if there are any organisations dealing with design and planning of such 'emergency' temporary/demountable shelters........
Kruttika Gulhane
emergency shelters
hey!! i'm a final yr architecture student and my thesis topic is 'emergency shelters for disaster victims'!! was excited to see another person thinking along the same lines :) we could help each other out.. well .. the info u looking at is not so readily available, u may find ngo's but u'll have to physically go to these places to see wats is being done.. also the complication i'm having is justifying it as an architectural thesis.. juror's may say it is more of a civil/ engi project.. how architecture?..
Noorain Ahmed
emergency shelters
If you contact Hunnarshala (or Abhiyan) they could provide you with information about temporary shelters which they did after the earthquake, I have seen them. Only after this they started with permanent housing.
It was a low mud mortar wall (earthquake resistant by it's geometry) covered with a two slope roof, the structure was mostly made of bamboo. Gable was lightweight with bamboo mats. Initialy they were thinking of thatch, but there was not enough available. Then they used roof tiles, which could be re-used for the permanent house. I developed a g.i. wire anchor for the tiles in order to avoid them flying away in case of hight wind. Those shelters were built by the families themselves, which is a good approach.

There were also from other organisations tent type temporaty shelters. The structure were bent hollow steel profils in the form of a parabola and the whole was covered with canvas. Many of these had problems with the canvas cover after one or two years. And the idea to keep the frames for re-use in an other disaster seems not to work out. The erection however was very fast.
In Bhuj, there were rectangular frame structures also made of hollow sections, but all welded together. The infill was with some cement fibre panels. This was rater long lasting and there were attempts to relocate the structure and upgrade it to become permanent. As far as I know, this part was financed by the EU and Hunnarshala could tell you more about it, as they built permanent shelters at this location.
In Pakistan I saw arched pipes as structure covered with corrugated sheets, forming a vault. This was longer lasting than tent type shelters.

It is a pitty that those information gets lost and is not documented with lessons learnt at a central place in order to avoid reinventing the wheel.


I think, one should look at a structure, that could later be used in the permanent house as a reinforcement.
I developed this so that one could have a room with about 10' x 10'x10' as a cube structure, which could be covered in the first step with some plastic foil and could later be upgraded by inserting propper walls and a pernanet roof. It has only one elment as structural member and is either bolted together or is fixed with corner elements. But it needs testing first.
Norbert E. Wilhelm
emergency shelters
If memory serves "fasces" / "gabbons" are the traditional military names for open-ended woven basket structures used for making or reinforcing military installations in the field.

I have posted before upon this a useful way to make walls and building quickly after earthquakes, but today in the weekend magazine of a national newspaper, I have seen what the American Army are currently using in Afghanistan.

The thing is called a "Hesco" and has a square collapable frame of rigid metal wire mesh with a moleskin layer inside the mesh (note: "moleskin" simply means a heavy duty cotton cloth like canvas).

I quote "A Hesco measures 8 feet cubed and can contain 25 tons of rock or sand." Although I am not sure that 25 tons would fit into the cubic space of eight feet x one foot x one foot???

Military Field Engineering obviously has the primary purpose of battlefield protection for human beings, but such technology can easily be adapted for the peaceful purpose of making temporary or semi-permanent homes for people who are homeless after the catastrophe of a natural disaster.
Frank John Snelling
emergency shelters
Hi Kruttika Gulhane,

Regarding the emergency shelter, i think you may check the work of architect Cameron Sinclair. See whether it helps.
J Lim
emergency shelters
I have posted some thoughts about transitional shelters (i.e.what comes just after the tents or the canvas) at zunia.org some weeks agoe. Here is the link to the article. You have to click the title to open the ful version.
http://zunia.org/post/a-note-on-permanent-and-transitional-shelters-in-non-urban-housing-with-regard-to-the/. Or you go to Zunia.org/ Enviorment/Natural disasters and look April 7th 2010
Norbert E. Wilhelm
emergency shelters
hello Norbert. I just wish to ask, how intensive is the community-organizing aspect for the transitional shelters you've cited? the article mentions "owner driven" so i'm assuming the technology was indigenous and there was very little need for outside intervention.
Jofer Magsi
emergency shelters
Hello Jofer,
Mostly I was involved in the permaent reconstruction, more about this is in an other Zunia Article un the same section.
But I have seen what was done as temporary or transitional shelter. All call it ownerdriven, but there is a wide range: sometimes the NGOs or agencies do practical all the works and sometimes they only advice and check, which is the better way for the reconstruction. Practicaly all what I have seen was handled by agencies (Govermnet, NGOs). Owners were involved in the erection, I assume mainly as helpers. The Abhyian shelter was built by the owners only with guidance and there was a lot of comunity organisation and the technology was rather local. But only the traditional huts I showed were built by the owners without outside suppor.
Basiciallly it would be best to avoid all transitional shelters and come to incremental construction, but always in the initial phase a lot of support is neded for the owners.
Norbert E. Wilhelm
emergency shelters
We are passing through a creeping disaster in harsh mountainous Hunza valley. The Attabad landslide made 141 households homeless, the landslide blocked the Hunza River and thus far over 240 houses are submerged in the lake upstream in Gojal valley. The 381 households (over 3810 individuals) are living either in schools as IDPs or with host families. The government and other institutions have no money to buy them land or provide them enough cash so that they live in other areas? Nearby there is no land available for erecting a transitional shelter even, kind of camp village? Come the winters, there would be big problems. In gulmit 78 families have land, but they don't know whether they should go for transitional shelter, start incremental construction or wait for the lake to recede and then build house in the same place?

What solutions are there in this situation?
Ghulam Amin Beg
emergency shelters
I would go for incremental contruction. It could be stopped after the minimum size is completed and if the lake goes down again.
Else one can continue. Transitional shelters are not much faster and the money is vasted on the long run.
If in an erthquake region, look for a resistant design.
Norbert E. Wilhelm
emergency shelters
Ghulam, Is it possible to move the landslide which is blocking the river?I ask because even a small gap would allow the water level to drop.

Or, another way is if you had enough pipes you could siphon the water out in the same way as emptying a bucket of water with a flexible tube. To start the suction action, (a) fill the tube completely, (b) close off the ends, (c) hold one end under water and one end outside the bucket and lower than the other end, (d) open both ends at the same time and allow the water to drain away.
Frank John Snelling
emergency shelters
Ghulam, I have been watching the news on TV and I can see that there is a far greater and wider disaster in Pakistan than the landslide you mention with flooding all along the Indus valley.

When I suggested siphoning the water out to clear the flooded ground behind the landslide I was assuming no rain.

In passing, I seldom watch BBC / ITV News because these days the programmes are inward looking with little or no interest in the outside world; whereas, I was quite surprised by the wealth of world news provided by the English language Aljazeera TV News.
Frank John Snelling
emergency shelters
Hi,

In the wake of recent flash floods in Pakistan, India and China it seems the research done on this topic is very meager. Unlike situation in the Earth quake, floods pose different problems to build emergency shelters. Shelters, once the people are taken to safe location are different, but there should also be some kind of shelters provided to people who are trapped in the waters.

Are there any such prototypes being used in any part of the world? I was watching the news, and except for using this matter for socio-political interest, I hardly find any genuine efforts being put into place.
Sriraj Gokarakonda
emergency shelters
Sriraj, When watching TV news on floods sometimes I think to myself "Why are there no raised platforms to allow people to stay above the flood level?"

But as most floods are so unexpected then the very thought of making raised platforms would be viewed like someone wanting building an "Ark".

The only thought I can offer is that "flood plains" in river valleys are called flood plains because they do flood. As I understand the process, silt (soil in the water washed down from above) is deposited on the river bed and this gradually raises the level of the river bottom, so that sooner or later the river will flood when there is slightly above average rainfall.

In fact, thinking about the situation in Pakistan, I believe the Indus Valley was home to one of the earliest civilisations and probably flooded regularly like the Nile river in Egypt.

Anyway, I would advocate a raised platform similar to one of the (Aztec)stepped pyramids in Central America for very village in flood plain areas. If everyone will recall, there was a major flood disaster in Mozambique several years ago and I thought of raised platforms as safety shelters even then.

Such raised platforms need only have a core of earth and faced with sloping (45 degree angle) brickwork or stonework and the platform need only be about six to nine feet in height.

Ideally, rivers with populated flood plains should have levies (raised banks / embankments), but sadly we do not live in an ideal world.
Frank John Snelling
emergency shelters
Thanks for the insight Frank.

Ideally, flood plains are supposed to be flooded every now and then. we cannot stop it (unless a giant dam is built). I have learnt from the media that these flood plains are very fertile and bears rich harvest without the use of any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Therefore many people who cannot afford buying ammonia and feeding their lands, settle in these plains and do farming.

Flooding of farm lands is not preventable though life and property could be saved by building such raised platforms.
Sriraj Gokarakonda
emergency shelters
Sriraj, Thank you. Regarding flooding and flood plains, both Holland and eastern England have low and flat areas known as "fens" or marshes, bogs, swamps, etc. Over the centuaries these have been either drained and reclaimed or have had sea defences built known as dykes.

As regards the Indus Valley in Pakistan, to reduce the potential for uncontrolled flooding, then like "The Fens" in England, a connecting network of channels and canals could be built to channel and funnel the flow of water through the Indus valley. I believe a similar sort of system was used in Ancient China and may have even been used in the Indus valley itself.

In fact, given that there are the outlines of cities under the sea off the coast of the Indian sub-continent, I would imagine that the Indus valley civilisation predates the last Ice Age and may have lost the technique when the ice melted and the seas rose to flood sea-level cities.

Therefore, if the Indus valley had a system of channels and canals (Maybe it has?), then my thought for raised platforms for the villages would be a backup rather than the first line of defence against flooding.

Although, another thought springs to mind as I write. In the excellent book "Village Japan" which describes the whole panorama of life and culture in traditional rural Japan; I noted that the villages were usually situated on the slopes of hills and the reason given was to maximise the space for the fields, but building on hills also has the advantage of being above the flood plain as would man-made raised platforms built where there are no hills nearby.
Frank John Snelling
emergency shelters
To everyone, one would hope that in the future when wars cease then the military will be used exclusively to handle natural disasters rather than man-made ones. And when I mean handle, I mean (a) immediate emergency help and (b) long-term help through reforming the landscape to prevent humans being overwhelmed by nature.
Frank John Snelling
emergency shelters
Dear All,I came across an article in a British national newspaper late in October which in passing highlighted the scope of the flood disaster in Pakistan.

This article was entitled "Smokers quitting and floods in Pakistan see BAT [British American Tobacco] volumes [of cigarette sales] fall" and I quote "In its third-quarter trading update, BAT said floods in Pakistan had made the country almost inaccessable for deliveries. Prideaux, director of corporate and regulatory affairs, said volumes in the Asia region were down by 12pc as a result."

Prideaux said: "There is an area the size of Italy under water, 1,000 bridges are down, the infrastructure has gone. This has hit our ability to deliver to customers and it looks like it will continue to do so for a while."

Given that this article was in the economic section of the newspaper (and therefore more likely to be based upon fact and not reporter fiction), then this article shows just how badly the recent floods in the Indus Valley have affected not only the people but also the economic infrastructure which the people will need in the future.
Frank John Snelling
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