Two Israeli researchers Brutto and Bruno have designed a table that can withstand falling debris in an earthquake. It could be particularly valuable in schools, especially those built near geological fault lines or in developing countries, where many buildings are poorly constructed.
People are often advised to crawl under a table if they can’t get outside during an earthquake but the designers said this could not be helpful because ordinary furniture normally collapses under heavy debris.
The ‘earthquake-proof’ or earthquake- resistant table, for which a patent is pending, is designed to remain upright under the debris expected when a single-storey building collapses, told Bruno, the lead designer.
The maximum expected weight of a falling ceiling is 350 kilogrammes, but the table could withstand up to a tonne, he told SciDev.Net.
Tables could even be arranged to provide passageways for rescue teams to move around a collapsed building when looking for survivors, he further added.
“We have made a great effort to create a table that will be light enough for two children to lift and cheap enough for most schools to purchase,” researcher Bruno said. “The cost of the table is approximately 2.5 times that of a standard school table, but it is of high quality so it will last about twice as long.”