What causes a nation to take responsibility for its catastrophes? It is not just a matter of the wealth of a nation. In the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan 200,000 buildings collapsed. In the March 2011 Fukushima earthquake very few buildings fell (excluding those swept away by the tsunami). Japan had taken extensive measures to reinforce buildings and infrastructure. But they did not prepare for the nuclear catastrophe.
This blog refuses to post. Guess it is a catastrophe.
A 2007 study by the economist Charles Kenny aruges that the construction industry is the most corrupt sector of the world economy. And the more corruption that exists - whether the usage of substandard materials or the building in areas that are unsuitable or unstable - the more likely there are to be deaths.
Some countries have adopted strong laws with severe penalties. The original owner (or builder) is held liable for any damage suffered during the first 10 years of the building's life. The owner (or builder) can be charged with fraud and even murder. With laws like this owners often exceed the provisions of the strict building code to avoid liability.
It's sad we just can't count on people to do "the right thing". We have to have laws to hold them accountable.