Earthquake-proof table invented to save the lives of millions of school children worldwide
- Inventors hope the tables will spare the lives of people caught in unsound buildings during massive temblors like the 7.0 earthquake that leveled Haiti and killed 200,000
Experts once advised people to run for a doorway when the earth begins to shake, now that’s out the window and scientists suggest jumping under the nearest table.
But what if the table gives way?
Two Israel scientist have a solution for that: earthquake-proof tables.
Designed to withstand downward impacts of up to one ton, the table is the brainchild of Israeli inventors Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno.
Brutter and Bruno say the idea came out of the pressing need to protect school children in the developing world at risk of death and injury when earthquakes that strike their structurally unsound schools.
Then Brutter witnessed footage of 2010’s catastrophic Haiti earthquake in which an estimated 200,000 people died as poorly constructed homes and schools easily buckled in the face of the 7.0 magnitude temblor.
Earthquake-proof table which will save kids’ lives
‘I looked at pictures of a school that was crushed in the earthquake in Haiti and they really shocked me,’ he said.
Along with his teacher, Bruno, Brutter devised a way to prevent such catastrophe.
The solution is a cheap to make, easy to lift table for school children that can withstand massive impact when used as shelter from earthquake debris.
‘When something falls on the table it absorbs the object’s energy, and debris is forced to the side,’ said Brutter.
The tables, when placed in rows like classroom desks, also act as a means of escape.
With debris halted above, students can crawl through the clear passageways created by the tables, as can rescue workers.
First tested by the Israeli military, the desk is now undergoing strict testing at Padua University’s Structural Engineering department in Italy.
According to Brutter and Bruno, some 300 million school children worldwide are at risk from earthquakes because their buildings aren’t prepared for them. The team sees their earthquake proof table as a way to prevent deaths and injuries.
The two have been applauded around the world for their invention and received numerous awards.
But Brutter hopes no one ever has to depend on his life-saving invention.
‘It’s always a good feeling to be recognised, but really it’s not awards…we want there to be no earthquakes, and we want it to be used to save lives.’