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SHAKE AND BLOW
Seismic safety of light-frame steel construction being tested
by Staff Writers
West Lafayette, Ind. (UPI) Jun 13, 2013


6.7 quake strikes off Indonesia's Java: USGS
Jakarta (AFP) June 13, 2013 - A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia's main island of Java on Thursday, the US Geological Survey said, sending people running into the streets in panic.

There were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued after the quake struck at 11:47 pm (1647 GMT) at a depth of 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) in Indonesian waters some 170 kilometres east of Australia's Christmas Island.

The quake was felt strongly in Kawalu, West Java province, according to hotel security guard Asep, who goes by one name.

"Some staff ran out into the streets," he said. "The quake was strong, but it only lasted around five seconds. I can't see any damage."

It was also felt in Ciamis, West Java province, a hotel worker said.

"Our guests who hadn't gone to bed yet ran outside in a panic. But there's no damage that I can see and everything is back to normal," said Warmansyah, who works at the Priangan guesthouse and goes by one name.

Tall buildings swayed gently in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, around 420 kilometres north of the quake's epicentre.

The Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said there was no potential for a tsunami.

"There are no immediate reports of damage or casualties, but we know the quake was felt in several parts of Java," an agency spokesman told AFP. "There is no potential for a tsunami."

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue an alert after the quake.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

A massive quake struck off Aceh in 2004, sparking a tsunami that killed 170,000 people in the province on Sumatra and tens of thousands more in countries around the Indian Ocean.

The final phase of a three-year project to increase seismic safety of buildings using light-frame steel construction is under way, a U.S. university said.

Funded by a grant from the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, earthquake engineering researchers from U.S. and Canadian universities partnering with steel industry design professionals already developed a series of computational models to determine how a complete building structure will perform during an earthquake, Purdue University said Thursday in a release.

Based at Purdue's Discovery Park, NEES is a collaborative, 14-site research initiative seeking ways to improve structural seismic design and reduce the damage of earthquakes and tsunamis, university officials said. It is funded by a $105 million National Science Foundation grant.

Analysis and initial testing for the project began in late 2010 at Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Texas. The focus shifts now to the University of Buffalo, where construction of a two-story test building was recently completed. Full-scale shake-table testing is expected to begin in the summer.

"This project has already resulted in several innovations that will immediately impact seismic cold-formed steel design standards, making buildings safer," said research team lead Benjamin Schafer of the Department of Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. "Now comes the fun part -- getting to see how all the research plays out on the shake table."

One key deliverable from the project will be the transfer of research results into an open-source software framework, Schafer said. The data will be made available to engineers, allowing them to see how their structural system designs will respond to an earthquake before construction.

"This software will create cost efficiencies and potentially save lives," Schafer said.

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