The University of Newcastle, N.S.W.

In December, 1989, the city of Newcastle, N.S. W., was struck by an earthquake of magnitude 5-6 on the Richter Scale, Despite the relatively small magnitude, the damage was widespread, due to the magnifying effects of the alluvial deposits underlying the city, and the lack of provision for earthquake loadings in design. The behaviour of structures is reviewed with particular emphasis on buildings incorporating masonry, either as loadbearing elements or as cladding and/or infill. Lessons to be learnt from this disaster have relevance not only for Australia, but also wherever unreinforced masonry has been used in areas perceived to have a low earthquake risk.