From Iceland — Icelandic Houses & Buildings: Safe Places To Be During An Earthquake

Icelandic Houses & Buildings: Safe Places To Be During An Earthquake

Published February 26, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

While this week’s cluster of unusually strong earthquakes have had folks on edge, one thing people can count on: Icelandic structures, whether public and private buildings or homes, are safe places to be inside of during an earthquake.

When asked if people in Iceland need to be worried about buildings collapsing on them during an earthquake, Silvá Kjærnested, a structural engineer at the Housing and Construction Authority, told RÚV: “This short answer is all buildings in Iceland should be built, and are built, with earthquakes factored in. It’s a part of our building regulations.”

This applies equally to structures made of concrete, steel or timber, she says, as it is the foundations of these structures and how they are built that matter the most.

That said, there are still certain dangers during earthquakes if one is indoors; primarily, unsecured objects, whether things up on shelves or heavy furniture that is possible to tip over with a good shake.

If a person is still concerned about the structural integrity of the building they live in, it is possible to contact the building representative for their municipality to learn exactly how sound their home is.

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