83 pc of deaths from earthquakes occurred in corrupt nations: Study

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 13, 2011 08:20 hrs

A new study has shown that 83 percent of all deaths caused by the collapse of buildings during earthquakes occurred in countries considered to be unusually corrupt.

The new assessment of global earthquake fatalities over the past three decades also found that in some relatively wealthy countries where knowledge and sound business practices would be expected to prevail, the collapse of many buildings is nevertheless attributable to corrupt building practices.

Corrupt building practices, which are generally covert and hard to quantify can include the use of substandard materials, poor assembly methods, the inappropriate placement of buildings and non-adherence to building codes, said the authors.

Professor Nicholas Ambraseys of the Imperial College of London and Professor Roger Bilham of the University Colorado at Boulder, used data gathered by Transparency International, which annually generates a Corruption Perception Index, or CPI, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.

"We found that fully 83 percent of all deaths from earthquakes in the last 30 years have occurred in nations where corruption is both widespread and worse than expected," Bilham said.

A commentary piece on the subject has been published in the Nature. (ANI)

More from Sify: