Main Reasons of Structural Wall Collapse in Chile 2010 and New Zealand 2011 - Implications For Ecuador

Maria Cristina Avalos Aguilar*, Ana Gabriela Haro, Pablo Caiza Sánchez
Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE, Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE, Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE, Ecuador

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Creative Commons License
© Aguilar et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the "Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE ”, Av. General Rumiñahui s/n, Sangolqui, Ecuador; Tel: 593-998571383; E-mail:


Previous works on the earthquakes of Chile 2010 and New Zealand 2011 indicate regular behavior of reinforced concrete buildings with structural walls. However, some buildings suffered significant damage associated with global or local collapse due to diagonal cracking and flexural-compression failure. Structural walls located at the ground floor presented tension-compression failure was probably provoked by high axial forces at the walls extreme ends which could cause this failure in places where there is a lack of bracing and confinement.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the behavior of the reinforced concrete structural wall buildings that failed in the mentioned earthquakes, and identify some of the main reasons that caused the damage as an attempt to improve engineering practices in Ecuador to prevent catastrophic events.

Keywords: 2010 Chile earthquake, Earthquake engineering in Ecuador, Structural walls, 2011 New Zealand earthquake.