Geolympics 7: Shortened races and building codes

Geolympics 7: Shortened races and building codes

18/12/2019 Perigeo 0
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Sometimes races are shortened, delayed, or even deleted due to bad weather or other reasons.

It’s happening at the cycling UCI World Championships, where Under-23 road race will be shortened (see here and here). Just few months ago, a stage of the Giro d’Italia and another of the Tour de France had to be neutralized because of snow storms and avalanche threat on the road at Passo Gavia and Col d’Iseran, respectively.

The reasoning behind such decisions is to guarantee safety conditions for the athletes and a fair competition. When dealing with buildings or infrastructures and not with athletes, a similar reasoning applies. Although you can’t control the seismic hazard in the community where you live or work, you can influence the most important factor in saving lives and reducing losses from an earthquake: the adoption and enforcement of up-to-date building codes.

Building codes are indeed sets of regulations governing the design, construction, alteration and maintenance of structures.

Specific regulations depend on i) the kind of building or infrastructure and ii) the kind of natural hazard threatening the territory. 

Figure 1: US seismic hazard map, retrieved from
Figure 2: Landslide hazard map for Nepal, retrieved from

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