The December 23, 1972, earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua caused extensive damage to structures throughout the city of Managua. There was damage to virtually every building in Managua, a city of approximately 400,000 inhabitants. An estimated 10,000 people were killed, mostly in the collapse of homes built of native taquezal construction. The city contained numerous reinforced concrete structures designed to recent standards. Although many of these buildings were heavily damaged, with some collapses, some had only minor damage. There were also several structures of structural steel.
The paper provides an overview of structural effects and discusses the performance of selected buildings in Managua illustrating the range of performance of modern construction. Damage to numerous other buildings will be discussed. The paper, while emphasizing the structural effects on buildings, also discusses the performance of non-structural elements, mechanical equipment, etc.