HIROSHIMA – Work started Monday to assess the earthquake resistance of the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima to confirm whether there is a need to reinforce the structure, part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Wall samples will be collected from 15 locations in four sections that were found to be weak against jolts in a computer analysis carried out by the city.
The samples will be obtained by hollowing the walls in a cylindrical shape, with each sample measuring 5 to 20 cm in diameter. This is the first such check since the structure was registered as a World Heritage site in 1996.
The A-Bomb Dome is the remnant of a building that survived the U.S. atomic bombing on Aug. 6, 1945, in the closing days of World War II.
The operation to hollow the walls is set to start in early June, and the samples will be analyzed by experts.
The earthquake resistance check will last until July 26.
The city in 2006 decided to preserve the structure as it stands. It then began considering how to protect it from quakes.
The computer analysis, conducted last year, found that there would be no risk of the structure collapsing immediately if it is struck by a quake measuring lower 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale to 7.
But it was also found that the impact of such a quake would concentrate on the four sections of the walls.