Oct 052009

Versiune în română

I wrote yesterday about the red dot and I thought a good idea to post a close up of it. Like I said, it reads “This building has been appraised by technical expertise to fall within seismic risk class I” and this means high risk of collapse in case of an earthquake of magnitude 7 of higher on Richter scale. Many of the historical buildings of Bucharest were built before World War II and were never reinforced. Some of them don’t have a foundation or have very shallow foundations and have already been through two major earthquakes (the one in 1977 and another one in 1940 of magnitude 7.7). After the 1977 earthquake, the government imposed tougher construction standards. Earthquake is always on the minds of citizens of Bucharest and people always ask if the building “has a dot” when looking for an apartment. Evidently, being marked with a red dot diminishes the value of a property and some owners will tell you that their house or apartment was wrongly labeled because of the city hall corruption and that for some reason someone wanted to lower the value of their property. But, conspiracy theory or not, who is willing to take the risk ? I’ve also heard of stories of owners who used influence on the authorities and succeeded in having the red dot removed. I don’t know if these urban legends are true or not, but my advice for those who wish to buy property in Bucharest is to bring an independent expert to do a technical evaluation.

The second photo is of the building with the red dot (on Lipscani Street).

  4 Responses to “More on the red dot and earthquakes”

  1. I commented this, something doesn't work?

  2. I have no idea why it didn't work, my guess is it is a blogger glitch. Even though I host the blog on my private server, I use blogger for posting and I have no control over the comments mechanism. And I was asking myself why isn't anyone commenting anymore. Well, on the bright side, it seems to be working now.

  3. That's very interesting. Well, the red point makes one feel uncertain and unsafe for sure. But what means safety? It is just a feeling, isn't it? I believe the risk is quite low, at least not higher than in the buildings to the left or right of the marked one. 1977 is a long time ago and you could have lived for many years in that building since then. People tend to avoid these rare but spectacular risks. But still we drive a car everyday or take an air plane from time to time, don't we? I think the risk of dying from a plane resp. car crash or even cancer is significantly higher within the same period of time. Well, this is just statistics vs. an irrational illusion of safety. (;

  4. I think a lot of people are under the impression that they are in control when driving a car. A false impression, of course, because you can drive correctly and still be involved in an accident. As for plane, I am still amazed at the number of Romanians who refuse to fly and prefer to drive 2 days to Italy instead (highly increasing the change of an accident).

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