resilience reporter

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These Lego-style homes can withstand earthquakes and cost under $6,500 to build

Today’s faulty tsunami warning is a reminder that tsunamis can happen on the US East Coast, too

On Tuesday morning, phones across the US East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and in the Caribbean buzzed with a false alarm about a potential tsunami. The warning was a mistake — the result of a technical glitch — but the prospect of a tsunami striking New York City or New Orleans raises the question: how likely is a tsunami in these parts of the US, anyway?

Tsunamis can form when powerful quakes jiggle the seafloor up and down. The magnitude 9 earthquake that struck Japan in 2011, for example, generated waves over 124 feet high. “That’s the monster,” says Chris Popham, lead oceanographer with NOAA’s National Tsunami Warning Center. “That’s the thing we’re most worried about, and the potential for that exists in any number of spots around the Pacific.”

A similarly massive quake is less likely in the Atlantic Ocean, Popham says. But that doesn’t mean the risk of a tsunami is zero. Underwater avalanches and volcanoes can also move enough water to generate the powerful waves of a tsunami…

 

These Lego-style homes can withstand earthquakes and cost under $6,500 to build

full fill home

Anupama Kundoo Architects The Full Fill Home on display at this year’s Venice Biennale.

When earthquakes hit, they can devastate entire cities. And rebuilding destroyed buildings costs a lot labour, time, and money.

Renowned architect Anupama Kundoo may have a solution — for homeowners, at least. The Indian architect, who is known for designing low-income buildings, has come up with a cheap, earthquake-resistant, easy-to-build home.

Kundoo tells Tech Insider that she has been commissioned to build 22 prototype homes in Auroville, India, and her firm, Anupama Kundoo, is crowdfunding to build more of the houses, called Full Fill Homes.

Much like Legos or Tetris, people can stack readymade plaster blocks to build the homes, which take just six days and $A6,396 each. The blocks can form different rooms in the house — from the kitchen to the bathroom.

Take a look…

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